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Against the Jews (Eight Homilies by Saint John Chrysostom)

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					  Κατα Ιουδαιων (Against the Jews)
            Eight Homilies by Saint John Chrysostom




                           Troparion (Tone 8)
Grace shining forth from your lips like a beacon has enlightened the universe.
            It has shown to the world the riches of riches poverty;
                  it has revealed to us the heights of humility.
           Teaching us by your words, O Father John Chrysostom,
        intercede before the Word, Christ our God, to save our souls!

                           Kontakion (Tone 6)
                Having received divine grace from heaven,
      with your mouth you teach all men to worship the Triune God.
               All-blessed and venerable John Chrysostom,
  we worthily praise you, for you are our teacher, revealing things divine!
                                       Homily I
                                             I
    Today I had intended to complete my discussion of the topic on which I spoke to you
a few days ago; I wished to present you with even clearer proof that God’s nature is more
than our minds can grasp. Last Sunday I spoke on this at great length and I brought
forward as my witnesses Isaiah, David, and Paul. For it was Isaiah who exclaimed: “Who
shall declare His generation?” David knew God was beyond his comprehension and so he
gave thanks to Him and said: “I will praise You for You are fearfully magnified:
wonderful are Your works.” And again it was David who said: “The knowledge of You is
too wonderful for me, a height to which my mind cannot attain.” Paul did not search and
pry into God’s very essence, but only into His providence; I should say rather that he
looked only on the small portion of divine providence which God had made manifest
when He called the gentiles. And Paul saw this small part as a vast and incomprehensible
sea when he exclaimed: “O the depth of the riches and of the wisdom and of the
knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are His judgments, and how unsearchable His
ways!”
    These three witnesses gave us proof enough, but I was not satisfied with prophets nor
did I settle for apostles. I mounted to the heavens and gave you as proof the chorus of
angels as they sang: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will among
men.” Again, you heard the Seraphim as they shuddered and cried out in astonishment:
“Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God of hosts, all the earth is filled with His glory.” And I
gave you also the Cherubim who exclaimed: “Blessed be His glory in His dwelling.”
    So there were three witnesses on earth and three in Heaven who made it clear that
God’s glory cannot be approached. For the rest, the proof was beyond dispute; there was
great applause, the audience warmed with enthusiasm, your assembly came aflame. I did
rejoice at this, yet my joy was not because praise was coming to me but because glory
was coming to my Master. For that applause and praise showed the love you have for
God in your souls. If a servant loves his master and hears someone speak in praise of that
master, his heart comes aflame with a love for him who speaks. This is because the
servant loves his master. You acted just that way when I spoke: by the abundance of your
applause you showed clearly your abundant love for the Master.
    And so I wanted again today to engage in that contest. For if the enemies of the truth
never have enough of blaspheming our Benefactor, we must be all the more tireless in
praising the God of all. But what am I to do? Another very serious illness calls for any
cure my words can bring, an illness which has become implanted in the body of the
Church. We must first root this ailment out and then take thought for matters outside; we
must first cure our own and then be concerned for others who are strangers.
    What is this disease? The festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews are soon to march
upon us one after the other and in quick succession: the feast of Trumpets, the feast of
Tabernacles, the fasts. There are many in our ranks who say they think as we do. Yet
some of these are going to watch the festivals, and others will join the Jews in keeping
their feasts and observing their fasts. I wish to drive this perverse custom from the
Church right now. My discourses against the Anomoeans can be put off to another time,
and the postponement would cause no harm. But now that the Jewish festivals are close
by and at the very door, if I should fail to cure those who are sick with the Judaizing
disease, I am afraid that, because of their ill-suited association and deep ignorance, some
Christians may partake in the Jews’ transgressions; once they have done so, I fear my
discourses on these transgressions will be in vain. For if they hear no word from me
today, they will then join the Jews in their fasts; once they have committed this sin, it will
be useless for me to apply the remedy.
   And so it is that I hasten to anticipate this danger and prevent it. This is what
physicians do. They first check the diseases which are most urgent and acute. But the
danger from this sickness is very closely related to the danger from the other; since the
Anomoeans’ impiety is akin to that of the Jews, my present conflict is akin to my former
one. And there is a kinship because the Jews and the Anomoeans make the same
accusation. And what charges do the Jews make? That He called God His own Father and
so made Himself equal to God. The Anomoeans also make this charge - I should not say
they make this a charge; they even blot out the phrase “equal to God” and what it
connotes, by their resolve to reject it even if they do not physically erase it.

                                              II
    But do not be surprised that I called the Jews pitiable. They really are pitiable and
miserable. When so many blessings from heaven came into their hands, they thrust them
aside and were at great pains to reject them. The morning Sun of Justice arose for them,
but they thrust aside its rays and still sit in darkness. We, who were nurtured by darkness,
drew the light to ourselves and were freed from the gloom of their error. They were the
branches of that holy root, but those branches were broken. We had no share in the root,
but we did reap the fruit of godliness. From their childhood they read the prophets, but
they crucified Him Whom the prophets had foretold. We did not hear the divine
prophecies but we did worship Him of Whom they prophesied. And so they are pitiful
because they rejected the blessings which were sent to them, while others seized hold of
these blessings and drew them to themselves. Although those Jews had been called to the
adoption of sons, they fell to kinship with dogs; we who were dogs received the strength,
through God’s grace, to put aside the irrational nature which was ours and to rise to the
honor of sons. How do I prove this? Christ said: “It is not fair to take the children’s bread
and to cast it to the dogs. Christ was speaking to the Canaanite woman when He called
the Jews children and the Gentiles dogs.
    But see how thereafter the order was changed about: they became dogs, and we
became the children. Paul said of the Jews: “Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil
workers, beware of the mutilation. For we are the circumcision.” Do you see how those
who at first were children became dogs? Do you wish to find out how we, who at first
were dogs, became children? “But to as many as received Him, He gave the power of
becoming sons of God.”
    Nothing is more miserable than those people who never failed to attack their own
salvation. When there was need to observe the Law, they trampled it under foot. Now that
the Law has ceased to bind, they obstinately strive to observe it. What could be more
pitiable than those who provoke God not only by transgressing the Law but also by
keeping it? On this account Stephen said: “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart,
you always resist the Holy Spirit,” not only by transgressing the Law but also by wishing
to observe it at the wrong time.
    Stephen was right in calling them stiff-necked. For they failed to take up the yoke of
Christ, although it was sweet and had nothing about it which was either burdensome or
oppressive. For He said: “Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart,” and,
“Take My yoke upon you, for My yoke is sweet and My burden light.” Nonetheless they
failed to take up the yoke because of the stiffness of their necks. Not only did they fail to
take it up but they broke it and destroyed it. For Jeremiah said: “Long ago you broke your
yoke and burst your bonds.” It was not Paul who said this but the voice of the prophet
speaking loud and clear. When he spoke of the yoke and the bonds, he meant the symbols
of rule, because the Jews rejected the rule of Christ when they said: “We have no king but
Caesar.” You Jews broke the yoke, you burst the bonds, you cast yourselves out of the
kingdom of heaven, and you made yourselves subject to the rule of men. Please consider
with me how accurately the prophet hinted that their hearts were uncontrolled. He did not
say: “You set aside the yoke,” but “You broke the yoke,” and this is the crime of untamed
beasts, who are uncontrolled and reject rule.
    But what is the source of this hardness? It comes from gluttony and drunkenness. Who
says so? Moses himself. “Israel ate and was filled and the darling grew fat and frisky.”
When brute animals feed from a full manger, they grow plump and become more
obstinate and hard to hold in check; they endure neither the yoke, the reins, nor the hand
of the charioteer. Just so the Jewish people were driven by their drunkenness and
plumpness to the ultimate evil; they kicked about, they failed to accept the yoke of Christ,
nor did they pull the plow of His teaching. Another prophet hinted at this when he said:
“Israel is as obstinate as a stubborn heifer.” And still another called the Jews “an untamed
calf.”
    Although such beasts are unfit for work, they are fit for killing. And this is what
happened to the Jews: while they were making themselves unfit for work, they grew fit
for slaughter. This is why Christ said: “But as for these My enemies, who did not want
Me to be King over them, bring them here and slay them.” You Jews should have fasted
then, when drunkenness was doing those terrible things to you, when your gluttony was
giving birth to your ungodliness - not now. Now your fasting is untimely and an
abomination. Who said so? Isaiah himself when he called out in a loud voice: “I did not
choose this fast, says the Lord.” Why? “You quarrel and squabble when you fast and
strike those subject to you with your fists.” But if your fasting was an abomination when
you were striking your fellow slaves, does it become acceptable now that you have slain
your Master? How could that be right?
    The man who fasts should be properly restrained, contrite, humbled - not drunk with
anger. But do you strike your fellow slaves? In Isaiah’s day they quarreled and squabbled
when they fasted; now when they fast, they go in for excesses and the ultimate
licentiousness, dancing with bare feet in the marketplace. The pretext is that they are
fasting, but they act like men who are drunk. Hear how the prophet bid them to fast.
“Sanctify a fast,” he said. He did not say: “Make a parade of your fasting,” but “call an
assembly; gather together the ancients.” But these Jews are gathering choruses of
effeminates and a great rubbish heap of harlots; they drag into the synagogue the whole
theater, actors and all. For there is no difference between the theater and the synagogue. I
know that some suspect me of rashness because I said there is no difference between the
theater and the synagogue; but I suspect them of rashness if they do not think that this is
so. If my declaration that the two are the same rests on my own authority, then charge me
with rashness. But if the words I speak are the words of the prophet, then accept his
decision.

                                             III
   Many, I know, respect the Jews and think that their present way of life is a venerable
one. This is why I hasten to uproot and tear out this deadly opinion. I said that the
synagogue is no better than a theater and I bring forward a prophet as my witness. Surely
the Jews are not more deserving of belief than their prophets. “You had a harlot’s brow;
you became shameless before all.” Where a harlot has set herself up, that place is a
brothel. But the synagogue is not only a brothel and a theater; it also is a den of robbers
and a lodging for wild beasts. Jeremiah said: “Your house has become for me the den of a
hyena.” He does not simply say “of a wild beast, but “of a filthy wild beast,” and again:
“I have abandoned my house, I have cast off my inheritance.” But when God forsakes a
people, what hope of salvation is left? When God forsakes a place, that place becomes
the dwelling of demons.
    But at any rate the Jews say that they, too, adore God. God forbid that I say that. No
Jew adores God! Who says so? The Son of God says so. For He said: “If you were to
know My Father, you would also know Me. But you neither know Me nor do you know
My Father.” Could I produce a witness more trustworthy than the Son of God?
    If, then, the Jews fail to know the Father, if they crucified the Son, if they thrust off
the help of the Spirit, who should not make bold to declare plainly that the synagogue is a
dwelling of demons? God is not worshipped there. Heaven forbid! From now on it
remains a place of idolatry. But still some people pay it honor as a holy place.
    Let me tell you this, not from guesswork but from my own experience. Three days ago
- believe me, I am not lying - I saw a free woman of good bearing, modest, and a
believer. A brutal, unfeeling man, reputed to be a Christian (for I would not call a person
who would dare to do such a thing a sincere Christian) was forcing her to enter the shrine
of the Hebrews and to swear there an oath about some matters under dispute with him.
She came up to me and asked for help; she begged me to prevent this lawless violence -
for it was forbidden to her, who had shared in the divine mysteries, to enter that place. I
was fired with indignation, I became angry, I rose up, I refused to let her be dragged into
that transgression, I snatched her from the hands of her abductor. I asked him if he were a
Christian, and he said he was. Then I set upon him vigorously, charging him with lack of
feeling and the worst stupidity; I told him he was no better off than a mule if he, who
professed to worship Christ, would drag someone off to the dens of the Jews who had
crucified Him. I talked to him a long time, drawing my lesson from the Holy Gospels; I
told him first that it was altogether forbidden to swear and that it was wrong to impose
the necessity of swearing on anyone. I then told him that he must not subject a baptized
believer to this necessity. In fact, he must not force even an unbaptized person to swear
an oath.
    After I had talked with him at great length and had driven the folly of his error from
his soul, I asked him why he rejected the Church and dragged the woman to the place
where the Hebrews assembled. He answered that many people had told him that oaths
sworn there were more to be feared. His words made me groan, then I grew angry, and
finally I began to smile. When I saw the devil’s wickedness, I groaned because he had the
power to seduce men; I grew angry when I considered how careless were those who were
deceived; when I saw the extent and depth of the folly of those who were deceived, I
smiled.
    I told you this story because you are savage and ruthless in your attitude toward those
who do such things and undergo these experiences. If you see one of your brothers falling
into such transgressions, you consider that it is someone else’s misfortune, not your own;
you think you have defended yourselves against your accusers when you say: “What
concern of mine is it? What do I have in common with that man?” When you say that,
your words manifest the utmost hatred for mankind and a cruelty which befits the devil.
What are you saying? You are a man and share the same nature. Why speak of a common
nature when you have but a single head, Christ? Do you dare to say you have nothing in
common with your own members? In what sense do you admit that Christ is the head of
the Church? For certainly it is the function of the head to join all the limbs together, to
order them carefully to each other, and to bind them into one nature. But if you have
nothing in common with your members, then you have nothing in common with your
brother, nor do you have Christ as your head.
    The Jews frighten you as if you were little children, and you do not see it. Many
wicked slaves show frightening and ridiculous masks to youngsters - the masks are not
frightening by their nature, but they seem so to the children’s simple minds - and in this
way they stir up many a laugh. This is the way the Jews frighten the simpler-minded
Christians with the bugbears and hobgoblins of their shrines. Yet how could their
ridiculous and disgraceful synagogues frighten you? Are they not the shrines of men who
have been rejected, dishonored, and condemned?

                                             IV
    Our churches are not like that; they are truly frightening and filled with fear. God’s
presence makes a place frightening because He has power over life and death. In our
churches we hear countless discourses on eternal punishments, on rivers of fire, on the
venomous worm, on bonds that cannot be burst, on exterior darkness. But the Jews
neither know nor dream of these things. They live for their bellies, they gape for the
things of this world, their condition is no better than that of pigs or goats because of their
wanton ways and excessive gluttony. They know but one thing: to fill their bellies and be
drunk, to get all cut and bruised, to be hurt and wounded while fighting for their favorite
charioteers.
    Tell me, then, are their shrines awful and frightening? Who would say so? What
reasons do we have for thinking that they are frightening unless someone should tell us
that dishonored slaves, who have no right to speak and who have been driven from their
Master’s home, should frighten us, who have been given honor and the freedom to speak?
Certainly this is not the case. Inns are not more august then royal palaces. Indeed the
synagogue is less deserving of honor than any inn. It is not merely a lodging place for
robbers and cheats but also for demons. This is true not only of the synagogues but also
of the souls of the Jews, as I shall try to prove at the end of my discourse.
    I urge you to keep my words in your minds in a special way. For I am not now
speaking for show or applause but to cure your souls. And what else is left for me to say
when some of you are still sick although there are so many physicians to effect a cure?
    There were twelve apostles and they drew the whole world to themselves. The greater
portion of the city is Christian, yet some are still sick with the Judaizing disease. And
what could we, who are healthy, say in our own defense? Surely those who are sick
deserve to be accused. But we are not free from blame, because we have neglected them
in their hour of illness; if we had shown great concern for them and they had the benefit
of this care, they could not possibly still be sick.
    Let me get the start on you by saying this now, so that each of you may win over his
brother. Even if you must impose restraint, even if you must use force, even if you must
treat him ill and obstinately, do everything to save him from the devil’s snare and to free
him from fellowship with those who slew Christ.
    Tell me this. Suppose you were to see a man who had been justly condemned being
led to execution through the marketplace. Suppose it were in your power to save him
from the hands of the public executioner. Would you not do all you could to keep him
from being dragged off? But now you see your own brother being dragged off unjustly
and wickedly to the depth of destruction. And it is not the executioner who drags him off,
but the devil. Would you be so bold as not to do your part toward rescuing him from his
transgression? If you don’t help him, what excuse would you find? But your brother is
stronger and more powerful than you. Show him to me. If he will stand fast in his
obstinate resolve, I shall choose to risk my life rather than let him enter the doors of the
synagogue.
    I shall say to him: What fellowship do you have with the free Jerusalem, with the
Jerusalem above? You chose the one below; be a slave with that earthly Jerusalem which,
according to the word of the Apostle, is a slave together with her children. Do you fast
with the Jews? Then take off your shoes with the Jews, and walk barefoot in the
marketplace, and share with them in their indecency and laughter. But you would not
choose to do this because you are ashamed and apt to blush. Are you ashamed to share
with them in outward appearance but unashamed to share in their impiety? What excuse
will you have, you who are only half a Christian?
    Believe me, I shall risk my life before I would neglect any one who is sick with this
disease - if I see him. If I fail to see him, surely God will grant me pardon. And let each
one of you consider this matter; let him not think it is something of secondary
importance. Do you take no notice of what the deacon continuously calls out at the
mysteries? “Recognize one another,” he says. Do you not see how he entrusts to you the
careful examination of your brothers? Do this in the case of the Judaizers, too. When you
observe someone Judaizing, take hold of him, show him what he is doing, so that you
may not yourself be an accessory to the risk he runs.
    If any Roman soldier serving overseas is caught favoring the barbarians and the
Persians, not only is he in danger but so also is everyone who was aware of how this man
felt and failed to make this fact known to the general. Since you are the army of Christ,
be overly careful in searching to see if anyone favoring an alien faith has mingled among
you, and make his presence known - not so that we may put him to death as those
generals did, nor that we may punish him or take our vengeance upon him, but that we
may free him from his error and ungodliness and make him entirely our own.
    If you are unwilling to do this, if you know of such a person but conceal him, be sure
that both you and he will be subject to the same penalty. For Paul subjects to
chastisement and punishment not only those who commit acts of wickedness but also
those who approve what they have done. The prophet, too, brings to the same judgment
not only thieves but those who run with the thieves. And this is quite reasonable. For if a
man is aware of a criminal’s actions but covers them up and conceals them, he is
providing a stronger basis for the criminal to be careless of the law and making him less
afraid in his career of crime.

                                             V
    But I must get back again to those who are sick. Consider, then, with whom they are
sharing their fasts. It is with those who shouted: “Crucify Him, Crucify Him,” with those
who said: “His blood be upon us and upon our children.” If some men had been caught in
rebellion against their ruler and were condemned, would you have dared to go up to them
and to speak with them? I think not. Is it not foolish, then, to show such readiness to flee
from those who have sinned against a man, but to enter into fellowship with those who
have committed outrages against God Himself? Is it not strange that those who worship
the Crucified keep common festival with those who crucified Him? Is it not a sign of
folly and the worst madness?
    Since there are some who think of the synagogue as a holy place, I must say a few
words to them. Why do you reverence that place? Must you not despise it, hold it in
abomination, run away from it? They answer that the Law and the books of the prophets
are kept there. What is this? Will any place where these books are be a holy place? By no
means! This is the reason above all others why I hate the synagogue and abhor it. They
have the prophets but do not believe them; they read the sacred writings but reject their
witness - and this is a mark of men guilty of the greatest outrage.
    Tell me this. If you were to see a venerable man, illustrious and renowned, dragged
off into a tavern or den of robbers; if you were to see him outraged, beaten, and subjected
there to the worst violence, would you have held that tavern or den in high esteem
because that great and esteemed man had been inside it while undergoing that violent
treatment? I think not. Rather, for this very reason you would have hated and abhorred
the place.
    Let that be your judgment about the synagogue, too. For they brought the books of
Moses and the prophets along with them into the synagogue, not to honor them but to
outrage them with dishonor. When they say that Moses and the prophets knew not Christ
and said nothing about His coming, what greater outrage could they do to those holy men
than to accuse them of failing to recognize their Master, than to say that those saintly
prophets are partners of their impiety? And so it is that we must hate both them and their
synagogue all the more because of their offensive treatment of those holy men.
    Why do I speak about the books and the synagogues? In time of persecution, the
public executioners lay hold of the bodies of the martyrs, they scourge them, and tear
them to pieces. Does it make the executioners’ hands holy because they lay hold of the
bodies of holy men? Heaven forbid! The hands which grasped and held the bodies of the
holy ones still stay unholy. Why? Because those executioners did a wicked thing when
they laid their hands upon the holy. And will those who handle and outrage the writings
of the holy ones be any more venerable for this than those who executed the martyrs?
Would that not be the ultimate foolishness? If the maltreated bodies of the martyrs do not
sanctify those who maltreated them but even add to their blood-guilt, much less could the
Scriptures, if read without belief, ever help those who read without believing. The very
act of deliberately choosing to maltreat the Scriptures convicts them of greater
godlessness.
    If they did not have the prophets, they would not deserve such punishment; if they had
not read the sacred books, they would not be so unclean and so unholy. But, as it is, they
have been stripped of all excuse. They do have the heralds of the truth but, with hostile
heart, they set themselves against the prophets and the truth they speak. So it is for this
reason that they would be all the more profane and blood-guilty: they have the prophets,
but they treat them with hostile hearts.
    So it is that I exhort you to flee and shun their gatherings. The harm they bring to our
weaker brothers is not slight; they offer no slight excuse to sustain the folly of the Jews.
For when they see that you, who worship the Christ Whom they crucified, are reverently
following their ritual, how can they fail to think that the rites they have performed are the
best and that our ceremonies are worthless? For after you worship and adore at our
mysteries, you run to the very men who destroy our rites. Paul said: “If a man sees you
that have knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not his conscience, being weak,
be emboldened to eat those things which are sacrificed to idols?” And let me say: If a
man sees you that have knowledge come into the synagogue and participate in the festival
of the Trumpets, shall not his conscience, being weak, be emboldened to admire what the
Jews do? He who falls not only pays the penalty for his own fall, but he is also punished
because he trips others as well. But the man who has stood firm is rewarded not only
because of his own virtue but people admire him for leading others to desire the same
things.
    Therefore, flee the gatherings and holy places of the Jews. Let no man venerate the
synagogue because of the holy books; let him hate and avoid it because the Jews outrage
and maltreat the holy ones, because they refuse to believe their words, because they
accuse them of the ultimate impiety.

                                            VI
    That you may know that the sacred books do not make a place holy but that the
purpose of those who frequent a place does make it profane, I shall tell an old story.
Ptolemy Philadelphus had collected books from all over the world. When he learned that
the Jews had writings which treated of God and the ideal state, he sent for men from
Judea and had them translate those books, which he then had deposited in the temple of
Serapis, for he was a pagan. Up to the present day the translated books remain there in
the temple. But will the temple of Serapis be holy because of the holy books? Heaven
forbid! Although the books have their own holiness, they do not give a share of it to the
place because those who frequent the place are defiled.
    You must apply the same argument to the synagogue. Even if there is no idol there,
still demons do inhabit the place. And I say this not only about the synagogue here in
town but about the one in Daphne as well; for at Daphne you have a more wicked place
of perdition which they call Matrona’s. I have heard that many of the faithful go up there
and sleep beside the place.
    But heaven forbid that I call these people faithful. For to me the shrine of Matrona and
the temple of Apollo are equally profane. If anyone charges me with boldness, I will in
turn charge him with the utmost madness. For, tell me, is not the dwelling place of
demons a place of impiety even if no god’s statue stands there? Here the slayers of Christ
gather together, here the cross is driven out, here God is blasphemed, here the Father is
ignored, here the Son is outraged, here the grace of the Spirit is rejected. Does not greater
harm come from this place since the Jews themselves are demons? In the pagan temple
the impiety is naked and obvious; hence, it would not be easy to deceive a man of sound
and prudent mind or entice him to go there. But in the synagogue there are men who say
they worship God and abhor idols, men who say they have prophets and pay them honor.
But by their words they make ready an abundance of bait to catch in their nets the simpler
souls who are so foolish as to be caught off guard.
    So the godlessness of the Jews and the pagans is on a par. But the Jews practice a
deceit which is more dangerous. In their synagogue stands an invisible altar of deceit on
which they sacrifice not sheep and calves but the souls of men.
    Finally, if the ceremonies of the Jews move you to admiration, what do you have in
common with us? If the Jewish ceremonies are venerable and great, ours are lies. But if
ours are true, as they are true, theirs are filled with deceit. I am not speaking of the
Scriptures. Heaven forbid! It was the Scriptures which took me by the hand and led me to
Christ. But I am talking about the ungodliness and present madness of the Jews.
    Certainly it is the time for me to show that demons dwell in the synagogue, not only in
the place itself but also in the souls of the Jews. As Christ said: “When an unclean spirit
is gone out, he walks through dry places seeking rest. If he does not find it, he says: I
shall return to my house. And coming he finds it empty, swept, and garnished. Then he
goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself and they enter into
him and the last state of that man is made worse than the first. So shall it be also to this
generation.”
    Do you see that demons dwell in their souls and that these demons are more dangerous
than the ones of old? And this is very reasonable. In the old days the Jews acted
impiously toward the prophets; now they outrage the Master of the prophets. Tell me this.
Do you not shudder to come into the same place with men possessed, who have so many
unclean spirits, who have been reared amid slaughter and bloodshed? Must you share a
greeting with them and exchange a bare word? Must you not turn away from them since
they are the common disgrace and infection of the whole world? Have they not come to
every form of wickedness? Have not all the prophets spent themselves making many and
long speeches of accusation against them? What tragedy, what manner of lawlessness
have they not eclipsed by their blood-guiltiness? They sacrificed their own sons and
daughters to demons. They refused to recognize nature, they forgot the pangs of birth,
they trod underfoot the rearing of their children, they overturned from their foundations
the laws of kinship, they became more savage than any wild beast.
    Wild beasts oftentimes lay down their lives and scorn their own safety to protect their
young. No necessity forced the Jews when they slew their own children with their own
hands to pay honor to the avenging demons, the foes of our life. What deed of theirs
should strike us with greater astonishment? Their ungodliness or their cruelty or their
inhumanity? That they sacrificed their children or that they sacrificed them to demons?
Because of their licentiousness, did they not show a lust beyond that of irrational
animals? Hear what the prophet says of their excesses. “They are become as amorous
stallions. Everyone neighed after his neighbor's wife.” He did not say: “Everyone lusted
after his neighbor’s wife,” but he expressed the madness which came from their
licentiousness with the greatest clarity by speaking of it as the neighing of brute beasts.

                                            VII
   What else do you wish me to tell you? Shall I tell you of their plundering, their
covetousness, their abandonment of the poor, their thefts, their cheating in trade? The
whole day long will not be enough to give you an account of these things. But do their
festivals have something solemn and great about them? They have shown that these, too,
are impure. Listen to the prophets; rather, listen to God and with how strong a statement
He turns His back on them. “I have found your festivals hateful, I have thrust them away
from Myself.”
   Does God hate their festivals and do you share in them? He did not say this or that
festival, but all of them together. Do you wish to see that God hates the worship paid with
kettledrums, with lyres, with harps, and other instruments? God said: “Take away from
Me the sound of your songs and I will not hear the canticle of your harps.” If God said:
“Take them away from Me,” do you run to listen to their trumpets? Are these sacrifices
and offerings not an abomination? “If you bring Me the finest wheaten flour, it is in vain:
incense is an abomination to Me.” The incense is an abomination. Is not the place also an
abomination? And when was it an abomination? Before they committed the crime of
crimes, before they killed their Master, before the cross, before the slaying of Christ, it
was an abomination. Is it not now all the more an abomination? And yet what is more
fragrant than incense? But God looks not to the nature of the gifts but to the intention of
those who bring them; it is by this intention that He judges their offerings.
   He paid heed to Abel and then to his gifts. He looked at Cain and then turned away
from his offering. For Scripture says: “For Cain and his offerings he had no regard.”
Noah offered to God sacrifices of sheep and calves and birds. The Scripture says: “And
the Lord smelled a sweet odor,” that is, he accepted the offerings. For God has no nostrils
but is a bodiless spirit. Yet what is carried up from the altar is the odor and smoke from
burning bodies, and nothing is more malodorous than such a savor. But that you may
learn that God attends to the intention of the one offering the sacrifice and then accepts or
rejects it, Scripture calls the odor and smoke a sweet savor; but it calls the incense an
abomination because the intention of those offering it reeked with a great stench.
   Do you wish to learn that, together with the sacrifices and the musical instruments and
the festivals and the incense, God also rejects the temple because of those who enter it?
He showed this mostly by His deeds, when He gave it over to barbarian hands, and later
when He utterly destroyed it. But even before its destruction, through His prophet He
shouted aloud and said: “Put not your trust in deceitful words for it will not help you
when you say: ‘This is the temple of the Lord! The temple of the Lord!’” What the
prophet says is that the temple does not make holy those who gather there, but those who
gather there make the temple holy. If the temple did not help at a time when the
Cherubim and the Ark were there, much less will it help now that all those things are
gone, now that God’s rejection is complete, now that there is greater ground for enmity.
How great an act of madness and derangement would it be to take as your partners in the
festivals those who have been dishonored, those whom God has forsaken, those who
angered the Master?
   Tell me this. If a man were to have slain your son, would you endure to look upon
him, or to accept his greeting? Would you not shun him as a wicked demon, as the devil
himself? They slew the Son of your Lord; do you have the boldness to enter with them
under the same roof? After He was slain He heaped such honor upon you that He made
you His brother and coheir. But you dishonor Him so much that you pay honor to those
who slew Him on the cross, that you observe with them the fellowship of the festivals,
that you go to their profane places, enter their unclean doors, and share in the tables of
demons. For I am persuaded to call the fasting of the Jews a table of demons because they
slew God. If the Jews are acting against God, must they not be serving the demons? Are
you looking for demons to cure you? When Christ allowed the demons to enter into the
swine, straightway they plunged into the sea. Will these demons spare the bodies of men?
I wish they would not kill men’s bodies, that they would not plot against them. But they
will. The demons cast men from Paradise and deprived them of honor from above. Will
they cure their bodies? That is ridiculous, mere stories. The demons know how to plot
and do harm, not to cure. They do not spare souls. Tell me, then, will they spare bodies?
They try to drive men from the Kingdom. Will they choose to free them from disease?
   Did you not hear what the prophet said? Rather, did you hear what God said through
the prophet? He said that the demons can do neither good nor evil. Even if they could
cure and wanted to do so - which is impossible - you must not take an indestructible and
unending punishment in exchange for a slight benefit which can soon be destroyed. Will
you cure your body and destroy your soul? You are making a poor exchange. Are you
angering God Who made your body, and are you calling to your aid the demon who plots
against you?
    If any demon-fearing pagan has medical knowledge, will he also find it easy to win
you over to worship the pagan gods? Those pagans, too, have their skill. They, too, have
often cured many diseases and brought the sick back to health. Are we going to share in
their godlessness on this account? Heaven forbid! Hear what Moses said to the Jews. “If
there arise in the midst of you a prophet or one that says he has dreamed a dream and he
foretell a sign and a wonder, and that sign or wonder which he spoke come to pass, and
he say to you: ‘Let us go and serve strange gods whom our fathers did not know,’ you
shall not hear the words of that prophet or dreamer.”
   What Moses means is this. If some prophet rises up, he says, and performs a sign, by
either raising a dead man or cleansing a leper, or curing a maimed man, and after working
the wonder calls you to impiety, do not heed him just because his sign comes to pass.
Why? “The Lord your God is trying you to see whether you love Him with all your heart
and all your soul.” From this it is clear that demons do not cure. If ever God should
permit demons to cure, as He might permit a man to do, His permission is given to test
you - not because God does not know what you are, but that He may teach you to reject
even the demons who do cure.
   And why do I speak of bodily cures? If any man threatens you with gehenna unless
you deny Christ, do not heed his words. If someone should promise you a kingdom to
revolt from the only-begotten Son of God, turn away from him and hate him. Be a
disciple of Paul and emulate those words which his blessed and noble soul exclaimed
when he said: “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor
powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other
creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our
Lord.”
   No angels, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor any other creature
separated Paul from the love of Christ. Do you revolt to cure your body? And what
excuse could we find? Certainly we must fear Christ more than gehenna and desire Him
more than a kingdom. Even if we be sick, it is better to remain in ill health than to fall
into impiety for the sake of a cure; for even if a demon cures you, he has hurt more than
he has helped. He has helped the body, which a short time later will altogether die and rot
away. But he has hurt the soul, which will never die. Kidnappers often entice little boys
by offering them sweets, and cakes, and marbles, and other such things; then they deprive
them of their freedom and their very life. So, too, the demons promise cure of a limb and
then dash the whole salvation of the soul into the sea.
   Beloved, let us not put up with that; in every way let us seek to keep ourselves free
from godlessness. Could Job not have heeded his wife, blasphemed against God, and
been free from the disaster which beset him? “Curse God and die,” she said. But he chose
rather to suffer the pain and to waste away; he chose to endure that unbearable blow
rather than to blaspheme and be free from the evils which beset him. You must emulate
him. If the demon shall promise you ten thousand cures from the ills which beset you, do
not heed him, do not put up with him - just as Job refused to heed his wife. Choose to
endure your illness rather than destroy your faith and the salvation of your soul. God does
not forsake you. It is because He wishes to increase your glory that oftentimes He permits
you to fall sick. Keep up your courage so that you may also hear Him say: “Do you think
I have dealt with you otherwise than that you may be shown to be just?”

                                           VIII
    I could have said more than this, but to keep you from forgetting what I have said, I
shall bring my discourse to an end here with the words of Moses: “I call heaven and earth
to witness against you.” If any of you, whether you are here present or not, shall go to the
spectacle of the Trumpets, or rush off to the synagogue, or go up to the shrine of
Matrona, or take part in the fasting, or share in the sabbath, or observe any other Jewish
ritual great or small, I call heaven and earth as my witnesses that I am guiltless of the
blood of all of you.
    These words will stand by your side and mine on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. If
you heed them, they will bring you great confidence; if you heed them not or conceal
anyone who dares to do those things, my words shall stand against you as bitter
accusations. “For I have not shrunk from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”
    I have deposited the money with the bankers. It remains for you to increase the deposit
and to use the profit from my words for the salvation of your brothers. Do you find it an
oppressive burden to denounce those who commit these sins? It is an oppressive burden
to remain silent. For this silence makes you an enemy to God and brings destruction both
to you who conceal such sinners and to those whose sins go unrevealed. How much better
it is to become hateful to our fellow servants for saving them than to provoke God’s
anger against yourselves. Even if your fellow servant be vexed with you now, he will not
be able to harm you but will be grateful later on for his cure. But if you seek to win your
fellow servant’s favor, if you remain silent and hurt him by concealing his sin, God will
exact from you the ultimate penalty. Your silence will make God your foe and will hurt
your brother; if you denounce him and reveal his sin, you will make God propitious and
benefit your brother and you will gain as a friend one who was crazed but who learned
from experience that you served him well.
    Do not think, then, that you are doing your brothers a favor if you should see them
pursuing some absurdity and should fail to accuse them with all zeal. If you lose a cloak,
do you not consider as your foe not only the one who stole it but also the man who knew
of the theft and refused to denounce the thief? Our common Mother [the Church] has lost
not a cloak but a brother. The devil stole him and now holds him in Judaism. You know
who stole him; you know him who was stolen. Do you see me lighting, as it were, the
lamp of my instruction and searching everywhere in my grief? And do you stand silent,
refusing to denounce him? What excuse will you have? Will the Church not reckon you
among her worst enemies? Will she not consider you a foe and destroyer?
    Heaven forbid that anyone who hears my words of advice should commit such a sin as
to betray the brother for whom Christ died. Christ poured out His blood on his account.
Are you too reluctant to utter a word on his account? I urge you not to be so reluctant.
Right after you leave here, stir yourselves to the chase and let each of you bring me one
of those suffering from this disease.
    But heaven forbid that so many be sick with it. Let two or three, or ten or twenty of
you bring me one man. On the day you do and when I see in your nets the game you have
caught, I will set before you a more plentiful table. If I see that the advice I gave today
has been put to work, I shall be more zealous in undertaking the cure of those men, and
this will be a greater boon both for you and them.
    Do not regard my words lightly. Be scrupulous in hunting out those who suffer from
this sickness. Let the women search for the women, the men for the men, the slaves for
the slaves, the freemen for the freemen, and the children for the children. Come all of you
to our next meeting with such success that you win praise from me and, before any
praises of mine, that you obtain from God a great and indescribable reward which in
abundant measure surpasses the labors of those who succeed. May all of us obtain this by
the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom and with Whom
be glory to the Father together with the Holy Spirit now and forever, world without end.

Amen.
                                            Homily II
 Against those who fast the fast of the Jews and against the Jews themselves
          Delivered after the other homily had been given and five days before the Jewish fast

                                                   I
    The wicked and unclean fast of the Jews is now at our doors. Though it is a fast, do
not wonder that I have called it unclean. What is done contrary to God’s purpose, be it
sacrifice or fast, is the most abominable of all things. Their wicked fast will begin after
five days. Ten days ago, or more than ten, I anticipated this and gave an exhortation with
the hope it would make your brothers safe. Let no one find fault and say my discourse
was untimely because I gave it so many days beforehand. When a fever threatens, or any
other disease, physicians anticipate this and with many remedies make safe and secure
the body of the man who will be seized by the fever; they hurry to snatch his body from
the dangers which threaten it before the patient experiences their onset.
    Since I, too, see that a very serious disease is going to come upon you, long
beforehand I gave you solemn warning so that you might apply corrective measures
before the evil attacked. This was my reason for not waiting until just before the days of
fasting to exhort you. I did not want the lack of time to stop you from hunting out your
brothers; I hoped that with the span of many days you might be able to track down with
all fearlessness those who are suffering from this disease and restore them to health.
    Men who are going to celebrate a wedding or prepare a sumptuous feast do this same
thing. They do not wait for the day itself. Long beforehand they speak with the fishermen
and bird hunters so that the brevity of time may present no obstacle to preparing for the
banquet. Since I, too, am going to set a banquet before you against the obstinacy of the
Jews, I have gotten a head start in talking to you, the fishermen, that you may sweep up
your weaker brothers in your nets and bring them to hear what I have to say.
    Those of you who did fish and have your catch securely in your nets, remain steadfast
and bind them tight with your words of exhortation. Those of you who have not yet taken
this goodly catch have time enough in these five days to trap and overcome your prey. So
let us spread out the nets of instruction; like a pack of hunting dogs let us circle about and
surround our quarry; let us drive them together from every side and bring them into
subjection to the laws of the Church. If you think it is a good idea, let us send to pursue
them the best of huntsmen, the blessed Paul, who once shouted aloud and said: “Behold,
I, Paul, tell you that if you be circumcised, Christ will be of no advantage to you.”
    When wild beasts and savage animals are hiding under a thicket and hear the shout of
the hunter, they leap up in fear. The loud clamor drives them from their hiding place and,
even against their will, the hunter’s cry forces them out, and many a time they fall right
into the nets. So, too, your brothers are hiding in what I might call the thicket of Judaism.
If they hear the shout of Paul, I am sure that they will easily fall into the nets of salvation
and will put aside all the error of the Jews. For it is not Paul who spoke, but Christ, Who
moved Paul’s soul. So when you hear him shout and say: “Behold, I, Paul, tell you,”
consider that only the shout is Paul’s; the thought and the teaching are Christ’s, Who is
speaking to Paul from within his heart.
    But someone might say: “Is there so much harm in circumcision that it makes Christ’s
whole plan of redemption useless?” Yes, the harm of circumcision is as great as that, not
because of its own nature but because of your obstinacy. There was a time when the law
was useful and necessary, but now it has ceased and is fruitless. If you take it on yourself
to be circumcised now, when the time is no longer right, it makes the gift of God useless.
It is because you are not willing to come to Him that Christ will be of no advantage to
you. Suppose someone should be caught in the act of adultery and the foulest crimes and
then be thrown into prison. Suppose, next, that judgment was going to be passed against
him and that he would be condemned. Suppose that just at that moment a letter should
come from the Emperor setting free from any accounting or examination all those
detained in prison. If the prisoner should refuse to take advantage of the pardon, remain
obstinate and choose to be brought to trial, to give an account, and to undergo
punishment, he will not be able thereafter to avail himself of the Emperor’s favor. For
when he made himself accountable to the court, examination, and sentence, he chose of
his own accord to deprive himself of the imperial gift.
    This is what happened in the case of the Jews. Look how it is. All human nature was
taken in the foulest evils. “All have sinned,” says Paul. They were locked, as it were, in a
prison by the curse of their transgression of the Law. The sentence of the judge was going
to be passed against them. A letter from the King came down from heaven. Rather, the
King Himself came. Without examination, without exacting an account, He set all men
free from the chains of their sin.

                                             II
    All, then, who run to Christ are saved by His grace and profit from His gift. But those
who wish to find justification from the Law will also fall from grace. They will not be
able to enjoy the King’s loving-kindness because they are striving to gain salvation by
their own efforts; they will draw down on themselves the curse of the Law because from
the works of the Law no flesh will find justification. So it is that Paul says: “If you be
circumcised, Christ will be of no advantage to you.” For the man who strives to gain
salvation from the works of the Law has nothing in common with grace. This is what
Paul hinted at when he said: “If out of grace, then not in virtue of works; otherwise grace
is no longer grace. But if out of works, no longer is it grace: otherwise work is no longer
work.” And again: “If justice be by the Law, then Christ died in vain.” And again: “You
who are justified in the Law are fallen from grace.” You have died to the Law, you have
become a corpse; hereafter you are no longer under its yoke, you are no longer subject to
its necessity. Why, then, do you strive to make trouble for yourself when it is all to no
purpose and in vain?
    When Paul said: “Behold, I, Paul, tell you,” why did he add his name? Why did he not
simply say: “Behold, I tell you”? He wanted to remind them of the zeal which he had
shown with regard to Judaism. What he is saying is this: “If I were a gentile and knew
nothing of Jewish matters, perhaps someone would say that, because I had no share in the
Jewish plan and dispensation, because I did not know the power of circumcision, I reject
it from the dogmas of the Church.” This is why he added his name. He wished to remind
them of what he had done in behalf of the Law. It is almost as if he were to say: “I do this
not through hatred of circumcision but in full knowledge of the truth. I, Paul, say this,
that Paul who was circumcised on the eighth day, who am an Israelite by birth, a Hebrew
of the Hebrews, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Pharisee according to the Law, who zealously
persecuted the Church, who entered houses, dragged out men and women, and handed
them over into custody. All this could persuade even those who are very stupid that I set
down this law not through any hatred nor in ignorance of things Jewish but in full
knowledge of the surpassing truth of Christ. ‘And I testify again to every man who has
himself circumcised, that he is bound to observe the whole Law.’”
    Why did he not say: “I exhort,” or “I command,” or “I say”? Why did he say: “I
testify”? So that he might, by this word, remind us of the future judgment. Where there
are witnesses who testify, there also are judgments and sentences. He is frightening his
hearer, then, by reminding him of the royal throne and by showing him that those very
words will be his witnesses on that day when each man will give an account of what he
has done, what he has said, and what he has heard. The Galatians heard those words in
days gone by. Let those who are sick with the Galatians’ disease hear them again today.
If they are not now present, let them hear through you the words that Paul exclaimed and
said: “I testify again to every man who has himself circumcised, that he is bound to
observe the whole Law.”
    Do not tell me that circumcision is just a single command; it is that very command
which imposes on you the entire yoke of the Law. When you subject yourself to the rule
of the Law in one part, you must also obey its commands in all other things. If you do not
fulfill it, you must be punished and draw its curse upon yourself. When a sparrow has
fallen into the hunter’s net, even if only its foot is caught, all the rest of its body is caught
as well. So, too, the man who fulfills a single commandment of the Law, be it
circumcision or fasting, through that one commandment, has given the Law full power
over himself; as long as he is willing, and if he is willing to obey a part of the Law, he
cannot avoid obeying the whole Law.
    We do not say this in accusation of the Law. Heaven forbid! We say it because we
wish to show forth the surpassing riches of the grace of Christ. For the Law is not
contrary to Christ. How could it be, when He is the One Who gave the Law, when the
Law leads us to Him? But we are forced to say all these things because of the untimely
contentiousness of those who do not use the Law as they should. The ones who outrage
the Law are those who bid us stand apart from it once and for all and come to Christ, and
then tell us to hold fast to it again. The Law has profited our nature very much. I agree to
that and would never deny it. But you Judaizers cling to it beyond the proper time and
will not let us see how very useful it has been.
    It would be the greatest source of praise for a tutor if his young pupil no longer needed
him to keep watch over his conduct because the lad had advanced to greater virtue. So,
too, it would be the greatest praise for the Law that we no longer had need of its help. For
the Law has brought that very thing to pass for us: it has prepared our soul to receive a
greater philosophy.
    So it is that he who still sits at the feet of the Law and can see nothing greater than
what is written therein derives no great profit from it. But I put the Law aside and ran to
the loftier teachings of Christ; yet I could grant to the Law the greatest dignity because it
made me such that I could go beyond the trivialities written therein and rise to the
loftiness of the teaching which comes to us from Christ.
    The Law did profit our nature greatly, but only if it led us sincerely to Christ. If this be
not the case, it did us harm by depriving us of the greater things because of our close
attention to those which are less; it also hurt us by still keeping us in the countless
wounds of our transgressions. Suppose there were two physicians, one weaker, the other
stronger. If the weaker one applied medicines to the ulcers but could not free the sick
man once and for all from the pain coming from his sores…


               **[previously unpublished missing section of Discourse II]

   BEGIN

    The Law did help our nature very much - but only if it genuinely leads us to Christ; by
the same token, if it does not do this, it has actually hurt us, by depriving us of greater
things through attention to smaller things, and by continuing to keep us confined in the
countless wounds of our transgressions. Indeed, suppose there were two doctors, the one
less powerful and the other more powerful; and the one, although he applied medicines to
the patient’s sores, was not able to free the afflicted person once and for all from the pain
they caused, but only brought some slight relief, whereas when the other doctor, the more
powerful one, arrived, taking all those medicines away and simply washing the sick
person, he was able to purify him of his afflictions, leaving no further trace - not even the
slightest mark. And then, suppose that the first doctor tried to prevent the patient from
being treated by that better doctor. What help could he possibly provide by the
application of his medicines, that would be as great as the damage he caused by
preventing the patient from taking the brief way, the quickest way to health?
    This is also how you should think, when it comes to Christ and the Law. The Law
applies medicines, bringing altogether slight relief for our sores. Christ, on the other
hand, when He came, took away all these things and by washing us with the water of
baptism, He allowed no trace or mark of our previous wounds to remain. So then, one
who still clings to the Law is doing nothing but disbelieving in the skill of the doctor, and
denying that baptism is sufficient to take away his trespasses. For running to the Law is
the mark of one who is afraid that Christ is not strong enough to free us from our prior
sins through His own grace - and this is proof of the worst unbelief: such people are
committing outrage on both the Law and on Christ, disbelieving both the one and the
other. By clinging to the Law, they are disbelieving in Christ’s grace; but by clinging to it
only in part, they have charged it with great weakness. Tell me: Is the Law alone, by
itself, able to justify? Yes? Well then, why do you not fulfill it completely? - But it is
fairly weak and feeble. - Obviously you think so, if you only keep it in part! Again, is
Christ able to grant the forgiveness of all your sins? Yes? Well then, why do you cling to
the Law, and fear that you will be judged as a transgressor for not keeping one of the
Law’s commandments? This is the mark of those who do not truly have confidence in
Christ’s kindness. At this point, it is timely to say, “Woe to a fearful heart and to slack
hands and to a sinner who walks upon two paths!” For you must imagine that what has
been said about circumcision has also been said about fasting, and about every other
commandment of the Law, if you keep it now, at the wrong time - just as, if someone is
now circumcised, “Christ will be of no benefit” to him. Indeed, so that you will not think
this statement only pertained to circumcision, but instead understand that it applied to the
entire Law, if someone were to keep it now, at the wrong time, you must listen to what he
says: “You who are trying to be justified by the Law have fallen away from grace.” What
further punishment could there be to equal this one? But may this not happen to our
brothers! I do call them brothers, even if they are sick in countless ways, because of my
hopes for their health.
    Now then, let me strip down for the fight against the Jews themselves, so that the
victory may be more glorious - so that you will learn that they are abominable and
lawless and murderous and enemies of God. For there is no evidence of wickedness I can
proclaim that is equal to this. But, in order to amass forensic-style speeches against them,
I shall first demonstrate that even if they had not been deprived of their ancestral way of
life, even so their fast would be polluted and impure - and I shall provide the proofs from
the Law itself, and from Moses. For if it was lawless when it was observed while the Law
was in effect and in power, so much the more now that the Law has ceased. And I shall
demonstrate that not only the fast, but also all the other practices which they observe -
sacrifices and purifications and festivals - are all abominable. And when the very manner
of purification is illegal as practiced, and would be rejected as loathsome, which of their
other rituals can purify them thereafter?
    The best starting point for the demonstration will be their observance with regard to
the place. For God led them out of the whole world and confined them in a single place,
Jerusalem. And in no other place were they permitted to fast, to sacrifice, to celebrate
festivals or tabernacles, or indeed to read the Law, at the time when the Law was in force.
And if back then, whenever these rites were conducted outside Jerusalem, the procedure
constituted transgression, all the more so now. If you wish, I will read the laws that were
set down for them concerning these matters. First, let me recite the law set down
concerning the festival of Passover: “For you shall not be able to celebrate the Passover
in any of the cities which the Lord your God gives you, but at the place which the Lord
your God chooses for His name to be called there” - meaning Jerusalem (for His name
had been called over that city, as Daniel also made plain when he prayed and said, “Look
at the destruction of us and of Your city, upon which Your name has been called over
it”). He used this term for the city not because God has a city - of course not! - but in
order to make the place more awesome by virtue of the fear inherent in the appellation.
So then, this law is one that prohibits them from carrying out the sacrifices of the
Passover anywhere outside Jerusalem, not only in Syria and Cilicia and among other
peoples, but even in Palestine itself. “For you shall not be able to celebrate the Passover
in any of the cities which the Lord your God gives you” - and the cities He gave were in
Judaea. Do you see how they have been forced out, not out of the world, but out of the
rest of the province itself, into one single place? Again, concerning the festival which is
now imminent, he warns, “For seven days you shall celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles,
when you gather in from your threshing-floor and your wine-vat.” - For because they
were ungrateful and unmindful of their benefactor, He bound their remembrances of the
kindness of God into the necessities of their festivals. And at the same time, they would
learn the reason for the festival: For when the harvest is complete, He says, celebrate
days of thanksgiving to the Giver of the requested sustenance – “For seven days you shall
celebrate the festival, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your
female servant, the proselyte/foreigner who is attached to you, the orphan and the widow;
for seven days you shall keep the festival unto the Lord God in the place which the Lord
your God chooses.” And as for the fact that they were not even allowed to read the Law
outside Jerusalem, listen to this: “After seven years, at the time of the year of Release, the
Feast of Tabernacles, when all Israel comes together to appear before the Lord your God
in the place which He chooses. There you shall read the Law”; there you shall fast for the
Feast of Tabernacles. Do you see that He preserves this stipulation also in the case of the
fast?
    Next, in order not to go through each thing individually, He added in summary fashion
that it was in no way permitted for them to carry out their customary rituals of worship
anywhere else, saying, “Be careful not to offer your burnt-offerings in any place you see;
but in the place which the Lord your God chooses for His name to be called, there you
shall offer your sacrifices, there you shall perform all that I command you today.” For
when He said “all,” He included, by using this word, festivals and sacrifices and
lustrations and purifications and whatever else was in the Law. Then, because they were
thoughtless and senseless, and his exhortation was not sufficient to persuade them, He
also added an inexorable punishment for those who disobeyed: “The Lord spoke to
Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and to the children of Israel, saying: Anyone from among
you, or from among the proselytes/foreigners who are attached to you, whoever
slaughters a bull-calf or a sheep or a goat outside the camp or in the camp itself, and does
not bring his sacrifice to the doors of the Tent of Witness, blood shall be reckoned for
him; that man has shed blood.” What does it mean that “blood shall be reckoned for
him”? He will be condemned for murder, having become just like a murderer - for God
was not paying attention to the nature of what was sacrificed, but to the mindset of the
one who was sacrificing. For this reason, it was reckoned as murder: because the
slaughter took place contrary to God’s wishes. Do you see how closely guarded the issue
of place was? The one who does not sacrifice at the doors of the Tent of Witness, He
says, will be punished just as if he has killed a human being, even if he is sacrificing a
sheep. And further tightening the punishment, He says, “That soul shall be cut off from
his people.” Why? Because he did not bring his sacrifices to the doors of the Tent of
Witness, He then says. And why does He order them to sacrifice there? So that they will
not sacrifice to their idols and “to the vain things with which they themselves engage in
prostitution.” Do you see that the very reason is an indictment of their impiety and
prostitution? (For He always calls their impiety prostitution.) He drove them together
from all quarters into a single place for this reason: so that they would have no occasion
for impiety. When a well-born and free man has a female slave who is licentious and
pulls in all the passers-by for immoral relations with her, he does not allow her to go out
into the neighborhood, to show herself in the alley-way, to rush into the marketplace;
instead, he confines her upstairs in the house, shackles her with iron, and orders her to
remain indoors at all times, so that both the spatial restrictions of the place and the
compulsion of the chains will be her starting-point for chastity. God acted in the very
same way: the Synagogue being His licentious slave-woman, gaping after every demon
and every idol, and rushing to make sacrifices to the idols in every spot and in every
place, He confined it in Jerusalem and the temple, as though in the master’s house, and
ordered it to sacrifice and celebrate festivals at appointed times there only, so that both
the spatial restrictions of the place and the observance of the times would keep it, even
unwillingly, in the law of piety. Sit there and be modest, He says; let the place train you,
since your character did not.
    And to confirm that this is the reason why He commanded sacrifice there only: you
have heard the Law that has now been read among us - it runs as follows: “For they shall
bring their sacrifices to the doors of the Tent of Witness” - and it goes on to add the
reason: “So that they will not sacrifice to their idols and to the vain things with which
they themselves engage in prostitution.” For there was no spot in Palestine that was not
defiled by their impiety; instead, every hill, every ravine, and every tree was privy to this
impiety of theirs. For this reason, Hosea cried out and said, “They sacrificed upon the
hills; they made sacrifices upon the summits of the mountains, under oak and pine and
shade-giving tree, because the shelter was good.” And Jeremiah said, “Lift your eyes
around you and see: Where did they not engage in prostitution?” It was for this reason
that God, seeing that they had gone astray, confined them in one spot: the temple. But not
even this put a stop to their licentiousness; rather, as if obstinately wishing to demonstrate
to their Lord that whatever He did they would not abandon their madness, they brought
adulterous lovers into their Lord’s house, at one time setting up a four-faced idol there, at
another time painting the abominations of reptiles and cattle on the wall. Ezekiel made
this known to us - for he was brought from Babylon to the temple, and when he saw them
burning incense to the sun and mourning for Adonis and worshipping all the other idols
in the temple itself, he cried out in distress.
    But the prophet did not point out only this rampant impiety, but also approached the
subject in another way, speaking as follows: “There came to be in you a
perversion beyond all women.” How is it that payments are made to all prostitutes, he
says, “but you gave out payments”? For they engaged in prostitution and paid money for
their own prostitution, which is the greatest proof of a soul that is being driven mad by
the sting of its own profligacy. So then, because the house did not make them modest -
instead, they set up their idols there - in the end God razed the temple itself to the
ground. For what need was there for that place, given that idols were standing there and
demons were being served in it?
    Now I want to reckon up just what I promised you at first. What was it, then, that I
promised? To show that they are transgressing in all that they now do - and in the first
place, in the festival of Passover. The fact that they are not simply transgressing the Law,
but are manifestly also murderers, when they celebrate this festival outside Jerusalem, is
clear from what I have said. This has been proved most abundantly, by the grace of God.
Therefore, whenever they sacrifice the Passover lamb either here or elsewhere, they are
manifestly murderers. For if, when someone does not bring his sacrifice to the doors of
the Tent of Witness, the sacrifice is reckoned as blood and murder, and if these people
make their sacrifices not only outside the temple, but even outside the city, indeed
everywhere on earth, then it is quite obvious that they are enmeshed in the pollution of
murder to an enormous degree. In the same way, when they celebrate the Feast of
Tabernacles and their other festivals, they are again impure and defiled. For if everything
is purified by means of the sacrifices, and “apart from the shedding of blood, there is no
forgiveness,” then once all the sacrifices have been taken away with the destruction of the
temple, it necessarily follows that the methods of purification and the customs of all the
festivals have been taken away - or that if they are practiced, they cause even greater
pollution because they are performed in an unlawful manner.
    Not only were they not permitted to sacrifice outside the temple - they were not even
permitted to sing elsewhere, as the prophet also made plain. For when they had been
carried off to Babylon, and those who had taken them captive wanted to hear Jewish
song, and would say to them, “Sing to us some of the songs of Zion,” they would answer,
by way of informing them that it was not permissible to sing outside Jerusalem, “How
shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” But neither did they fast in a foreign
land; listen to what God said to them through Zechariah: “For seventy years, you have
not fasted a fast for Me, have you?” - referring indirectly to the time of the captivity. It
has also been proved that they were permitted to make sacrifices there only. For this
reason the three children said, “There is no ruler or prophet at this time, nor any place to
make an offering and find mercy.” Now of course there was a place in Babylonia - but
not the customary place. For they hearkened to Moses, who said, “Be careful not to offer
your burnt-offerings in any place you see; but in the place which the Lord your God
chooses…” Thus, when they were allowed neither to sacrifice nor to sing nor to be
purified nor to read the Law (for indeed, another prophet likewise made the same charge
when he said - and brought it out as a great accusation - “They read the Law outside and
invoked confession.”) - when, therefore, they were allowed to do none of these things,
what defense will they possibly have hereafter? They condemn and defile themselves by
their myriad paths of transgression. And that is why I called their fast impure right from
the beginning: because it is carried out unlawfully. Indeed, their Passover and Feast of
Tabernacles, and whatever else they do, are profane and abominable; what they carry
out is not worship, but lawlessness and transgression and outrage committed on God.
You see, if they did not dare to do any of these things during their sojourning in a foreign
land (as my discourse has proved), when they expected to recover their ancestral city and
return to the temple, then they are obligated much more now to stay idle, to refrain from
action, and not to carry out any of these things - now that there is no longer any hope that
they will recover Jerusalem. For that city shall not rise up again in the future, nor will
they return to their prior form of worship. It was to make this clear to them that God
opened up the whole world to them, and made that spot alone inaccessible, and thus there
are imperial laws keeping them away and not allowing them to set foot in the doorway of
the city - that city is and will remain off-limits for them at all times.
    But on the very day of their fast, I will demonstrate that it, i.e., Jerusalem, will not rise
again - if you are present again with the same enthusiasm and I see this hall made just as
magnificent as it is now with the multitude of the listeners. Today, on the other hand, it is
necessary to tell you why God opened the entire world to them, but made that city alone
inaccessible to them. Why, then, did He do this? He knew their obstinacy and
shamelessness, their willfulness and disobedience; He knew that they would not easily
choose to give up their former way of life, conducted with sacrifices and burnt offerings,
and go toward the higher, more spiritual life of the Gospels. What, then, did He do?
After tying their worship of Him to the necessity of sacrifices, He furthermore confined
the sacrifices themselves to the temple, and after doing this, He made the place off-limits
for them, so that, from the fact that they were not allowed to set foot in Jerusalem, they
would become aware that it was now not permissible for them to sacrifice - and from the
absence of sacrifice they would be taught not to cling to the rest of their forms of worship
any longer, and would be able to see that it was no longer the proper time for that way of
life, that instead, God was calling them to a different and greater philosophy. A loving
mother who has a nursing child, but later is eager to wean him away from milk-
nourishment and lead him toward other kinds of nourishment - when she sees that he is
unwilling and resistant, and continues to seek her breast and insinuate himself into her
maternal bosom, she smears gall or some other kind of very bitter juice around the very
nipple of her breast, and thus compels him, unwilling as he is, to turn away from the
source of milk in future. In the very same way, God, wanting to lead them to more solid
nourishment, but then seeing them constantly running back to Jerusalem and its way of
life, walled off the city like a mother’s nipple with bile and the bitterest juice - the fear of
the Romans - and by means of imperial decrees He made it become off-limits for them.
His intention was that because of the desolation and the soldiers’ weapons, they would
stand aloof from that homeland and little by little become accustomed to rejecting their
desire for milk and slipping into a love and craving for solid nourishment. For even
though emperors caused the desolation, they were moved by God to do so, and this is
clear from a comparison with the previous periods, when not even the ruler of the whole
world was strong enough to take the city, since God was favorable to them. The temple
was destroyed for this reason: so that they would no longer look for God in a place, but
look up toward the heavens. Sacrifices were taken away for this reason: so that they
would be able to see the true sacrifice as well, which took away the sin of the world. But
if they are not willing to change, then God, for His part, has displayed to them His
kindness, while they, having made themselves unworthy of His goodness, will bring
inexorable punishment upon themselves.
    But now, it is time to leave behind my discourse with them, and to direct my criticism
against those who have gone off to hear the Trumpets. Indeed, I ought not to have
considered them even worth taking into account at this point, since after so much
exhortation and advice they still persisted in the same stupidity. But I do expect to correct
their ways by this second exhortation, and to persuade them to condemn their own
stupidity with regard to their earlier behavior; thus, I eagerly embark on these remarks
directed at them. For indeed, I know that by the grace of God, many of those who were
accustomed to do these things have departed from their wicked custom; and if not all
were persuaded, yet they shall be persuaded by all means. A body that is beginning to be
healthy makes progress on a path so as to cast off all its illness and finally return to a
state of pure health.
    You ran to hear the Trumpets? Tell me - (I wish to have a conversation with them in
their absence, as though they were present. For even so does the soul that is in pain
converse with people as though they are present and listening, even if those it is attacking
are not listening.) - so then, you ran to hear the Trumpets? Tell me: With those
murderers? With those charlatans? With those delirious and raving-mad Jews? Did you
not listen to Christ, Who said, “The one who looks at a woman to desire her has already
committed adultery with her in his heart”? For just as a licentious gaze produces adultery,
so also untimely hearing works impiety. But you desire to hear a trumpet! Then listen to
the trumpet of Paul, the spiritual trumpet blaring out from the heavens and saying, “Take
up the full armor of God. Gird your loins with truth, put on the breastplate of
righteousness, cover your feet with the equipment of the Gospel of peace, take up the
shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit.”
    Do you see how a spiritual trumpet arms you and leads you out to the battle against
the demons? Listen to the thunder of John, saying: “In the beginning was the Word, and
the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Wait for the trumpet that will sound
from the heavens: “For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead will rise again.” Those who
hear this earthly trumpet will not hear that heavenly one - or rather, they will hear it, but
to their own detriment. For participation in the Jewish festival will mean participation in
their punishment. At that time, the Jews “will look upon Him Whom they pierced.” What,
then, will happen, if you appear in company with them? Is it not abundantly clear what is
left as the implication? I am afraid to say it, but I impart it to your consciousness. You
sound the trumpet with them now - so you will mourn with them then. But may it never
be that any of the children of the churches be found in the gathering-place of those
murderous people - not now, not ever! And that is why I have said this now: so that these
things no longer take place.
    But not only to men do I address these comments, but also to the women, through
 their husbands. For indeed, I know that most of the crowd that is drawn to go there is
composed of women. Now then, the blessed Paul says, “Husbands, love your wives”; and
again, “The wife should fear her husband.” But I am seeing neither wives’ fear nor
husbands’ love. For if the wife feared her husband, she would not have dared to go. If the
husband loved his wife, he would never have allowed and tolerated her going. For what is
worse than this outrage, I ask you? A free and believing woman goes out of the house and
goes off to a synagogue? Does she know any other place at all, apart from the church and
the time spent there? But if she were going off to a lover, would you not have stood up?
Would you not have been inflamed? Would you not have posted guards on all sides? But
as it is, you do not see her going off to commit adultery with a man, but going off to be
with demons - and you allow this impiety? If she commits a transgression against you,
you punish her; but if she commits outrage against her Lord, you overlook it? If she
wantonly abuses your marriage, you are a harsh and inexorable judge; but if she tramples
on the covenants with God, you are careless and slack? How can these offenses be
worthy of forgiveness? And yet, God does not act that way, but rather in the opposite
way: When He Himself is outraged, He overlooks it; when you are treated that way, He
punishes. Do you wish to learn that He honors your affairs more than His own? “If you
are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something
against you, leave your gift before the altar, and go - first be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.”

   END



                                             III
   <“If therefore you are offering your gift at the altar, and there you remember that your
brother has anything against you, leave there your offering before the altar and go first to
be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”> Christ did not say:
“Submit your offering and then go away,” but, “Let it stay there unoffered and go first to
be reconciled to your brother.”
   Nor did he do this only here but again in another place. If a man has an infidel wife,
that is, a gentile, he is not forced to put her away. For St. Paul said: “If any man has an
unbelieving wife and she consents to live with him, let him not put her away. But if he
has a wife who is a harlot and an adulteress, there is nothing to stop him from putting her
away. For Christ said: “Everyone who puts away his wife save on account of immorality,
causes her to commit adultery.” And so he is allowed to put her away because of
immorality.
    Do you see God’s loving-kindness and concern? He says: “If your wife be a gentile,
do not put her away. But if she be a harlot, I do not stop you from doing so.” What he
means is this: “If she acts outrageously toward Me, do not put her away; if she outrages
you, there is no one to stop you from putting her away.” If God, then, showed us such
honor, will we not deem Him deserving of equal honor? Will we let Him be outraged by
our wives? Will we permit this even though we realize that the greatest punishment and
vengeance will be stored up for us when we neglect the salvation of our wives?
    This is why He made you to be head of the wife. This is why Paul gave the order: “If
wives wish to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home, so that you, like a
teacher, a guardian, a patron, might urge her to godliness. Yet when the hour set for the
services summons you to the church, you fail to rouse your wives from their sluggish
indifference. But now that the devil summons your wives to the feast of Trumpets and
they turn a ready ear to his call, you do not restrain them. You let them entangle
themselves in accusations of ungodliness, you let them be dragged off into licentious
ways. For, as a rule, it is the harlots, the effeminates, and the whole chorus from the
theater who rush to that festival.
    And why do I speak of the immorality that goes on there? Are you not afraid that your
wife may not come back from there after a demon has possessed her soul? Did you not
hear in my previous discourse the argument which clearly proved to us that demons dwell
in the very souls of the Jews and in the places in which they gather? Tell me, then. How
do you Judaizers have the boldness, after dancing with demons, to come back to the
assembly of the apostles? After you have gone off and shared with those who shed the
blood of Christ, how is it that you do not shudder to come back and share in His sacred
banquet, to partake of His precious blood? Do you not shiver, are you not afraid when
you commit such outrages? Have you so little respect for that very banquet?
    I have spoken these words to you. You will speak them to those Judaizers, and they to
their wives. “Fortify one another.” If a catechumen is sick with this disease, let him be
kept outside the church doors. If the sick one be a believer and already initiated, let him
be driven from the holy table. For not all sins need exhortation and counsel; some sins, of
their very nature, demand cure by a quick and sharp excision. The wounds we can
tolerate respond to more gentle cures; those which have festered and cannot be cured,
those which are feeding on the rest of the body, need cauterization with a point of steel.
So is it with sins. Some need long exhortation; others need sharp rebuke.
    This is why Paul did not enjoin us to exhort in every case but also to rebuke sharply:
“Wherefore rebuke them sharply.” Therefore, I will now rebuke them sharply, so that
they may accuse themselves and feel shame for what they have done. Then they will
never again be hurt by that sinful fast.
    So I shall put aside exhortation henceforth as I testify and exclaim: “If any man does
not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let a curse be upon him.” What greater evidence could
there be that a man does not love our Lord than when he participates in the festival with
those who slew Christ? It was not I who hurled the curse at them, but Paul. Rather, it was
not Paul but Christ, Who spoke through him and said earlier: “Those who are justified in
the law have fallen away from grace.”
    So speak these words to them, read aloud to them these texts. Show all your zeal in
saving them. When you have snatched them from the devil’s jaws, bring them to me on
the day of the Jewish fast. Then, after I have kept the rest of my promise to you, let us,
with one accord and with one voice, join our brothers in giving glory to God and the
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for to Him is glory forever.

Amen.




**Greek text and German translation published by W. Pradels, R. Brändle and M.
Heimgartner, “Das bisher vermisste Textstück in Johannes Chrysostomus, Adversus
Judaeos, Oratio 2,” Zeitschrift für antikes Christentum / Journal of Ancient Christianity 5
(2001) 23-49

[The text that was found and used for this translation, the only previously known text of
Homily II, was from the 11th century Greek Orthodox Monastery - Leimonos Monastery -
on the island of Lesvos in Greece.]
                                      Homily III
                   Against those who keep the first Paschal fast

                                             I

    Once again a necessary and pressing need has interrupted the sequence of my recent
discourses. I must put aside my struggles with the heretics for today and turn my attention
to this necessary business. For I was ready to address your loving assembly again on the
glory of the only-begotten Son of God. But the untimely obstinacy of those who wish to
keep the first paschal fast forces me to devote my entire instruction to their cure. For the
good shepherd does more than drive away the wolves; he also is most diligent in caring
for his sheep who are sick. What does he gain if the flocks escape the jaws of the wild
beasts but are then devoured by disease?
    The best general is the one who not only repels the siege engines of the enemy but
first puts down rebellion within his own city. He knows well that there will be no victory
over an outside foe as long as there is civil war within. Do you not know that there is no
more destructive force than rebellion and obstinacy? Listen to the words of Christ: “A
kingdom divided against itself shall not stand.” And yet, what is more powerful than a
kingdom which possesses revenues of money, weapons, walls, fortresses, so large a
number of soldiers, horses, and ten thousand other sources of strength?
    But even power as great as that is destroyed when it revolts against itself. Nothing
produces weakness so effectively as contentiousness and strife; and nothing produces
power and strength so effectively as love and concord. When Solomon grasped this truth
he said: “A brother that is helped by his brother is like a strong city and kingdom bolted
and barred.” Do you see the great strength which comes from concord? And do you see
the great harm caused by contentiousness? A kingdom in revolt destroys itself. When two
brothers are bound together and united into one, they are more unbreakable than any wall.
    I know that, by God’s grace, most members of my flock are free from this disease and
that the sickness involves only a few. But this is no reason for me to relax my care. If
only ten, or five, or two, or even one were sick, he must not be neglected. If there is only
one worthless outcast, still he is a brother, and Christ died for him. And Christ made great
account of the weak ones. He said: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe
in Me to sin, it were better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck, and to
be drowned in the sea.” And again: “As long as you did not do it for one of these little
ones, you did not do it for Me.” And again: “It is not the will of your Father in heaven
that a single one of these little ones should perish.”
    Is it not absurd, when Christ shows such care for his little ones, that we should refuse
to care for them? Do not say: “He is one person.” Rather, you must say: “He is one, yes,
but if we do not take care of him, he will spread the disease to the rest.” Paul said: “A
little leaven ferments the whole mass.” And our neglect of the little ones is what
overturns and destroys everything. Neglected wounds become serious, just as the serious
wounds would easily become minor if they receive the proper care.
    Moreover, the first thing I have to say to the Judaizers is that nothing is worse than
contentiousness and fighting, than tearing the Church asunder and rending into many
parts the robe which the robbers did not dare to rip. Are not all the other heresies enough
without our tearing each other apart? You must listen to Paul when he says: “But if you
bite and devour one another, take heed or you will be consumed by one another.”
    Tell me this. Do you stray outside the flock and have you no fear of the lion that
prowls about outside the fold? “For your enemy, like a lion, goes about seeking whom he
may seize.” Here you see a shepherd’s wisdom. He does not let the lion in among the
sheep for fear the lion may terrify the flock. Nor does he drive the lion away from outside
the fold. Why? So that he may gather all the sheep together inside the fold, because they
are afraid of the wild beast outside. Do you have no reverence and respect for your
father? Then fear your foe. If you separate yourself from the flock, your enemy will
surely catch you.
    Christ, too, could have driven the enemy away from the outside of the fold. But to
make you sober and watchful, to make you constantly run to your Mother for refuge, He
permitted him to roar outside the fold. Why did He do this? So that when those within the
fold hear his roar, they may take refuge together and be more closely bound to one
another. Mothers who love their children also do this: when their children cry, they often
threaten to throw them to the jaws of the wolves. Of course, they would not throw them
to the wolves but they say they will, to stop the children from bothering them. Everything
Christ did was done to keep us bound together and living at peace with one another.

                                              II
    And so it was that Paul could have accused the Corinthians of many great crimes but
he accused them of contentiousness before any other. He could have accused them of
fornication, of pride, of taking their quarrels to the pagan courts, of banquets in the
shrines of idols. He could have charged that the women did not veil their heads and that
the men did. Over and above all this, he could have accused them of neglecting the poor,
of the pride they took in their charismatic gifts, and in the matter of the resurrection of the
body. But since, along with these, he could also find fault with them because of their
dissensions and quarrels with one another, he passed over all the other crimes, and
corrected their contentiousness first.
    If you will not think I am making a nuisance of myself on this point, I shall clarify it
from Paul’s own words. He did give top priority to correcting the Corinthians’ obstinacy
and contentiousness. And he did this even though he could charge them with all those
other crimes. Hear what he says about their fornication: “It is actually reported that there
is lewd conduct among you.” That they were puffed up and proud: “As if I were not
coming to you, some are puffed up.” Again, that they would plead their cases in the
pagan courts: “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, bring your case to be
judged before unbelievers?” That they ate meat offered to idols: “You cannot be
partakers of the table of the Lord and of the table of devils.” Hear his words of reproach
for the women who do not veil their heads and the men who do. “Every man praying or
prophesying with his head covered, disgraces his head. But every woman praying or
prophesying with her head uncovered, disgraces her head.” He showed that they
neglected the poor when he said: “One is hungry and another drinks overmuch.” And
again: “or do you despise the church of God and put to shame the needy?” When they
were all jumping for the more important charismatic gifts and no one was satisfied with
the less important, he said: “Are all apostles? Are all prophets?” We can conclude that
they were raising doubts about the resurrection because he says: “But someone will say:
‘How do the dead rise? Or with what kind of body do they come?’”
    Although he could make so many accusations, his first charge against the Corinthians
was dissension and contentiousness. At the very beginning of his letter he said: “I
beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all say the same
thing, and that there be no dissensions among you.” For he knew, he knew clearly, that
this problem was more urgent than the others. If the fornicator, or the braggart, or a man
in the grip of any other vice comes frequently to the church, he will quickly draw profit
from the instruction, thrust aside his sin, and return to health.
    But when a man has broken away from this assembly, when he has withdrawn from
the instruction of the fathers, when he has fled from the physician’s clinic, even if he
appears to be in good health, he will soon fall sick. The best physicians first quench the
fires of fever and then cure the wounds and fractures. That is what Paul did. He first
removed the dissension and then cured their wounds limb by limb. And so he spoke of
dissension before the other sins, so that the Corinthians would not stand apart in strife, so
that they would not choose the leaders whom they should follow, so that they would not
divide up the body of Christ into many parts.
    But he was talking not only to the Corinthians; he was also speaking to those who
would come after them and suffer from the same Corinthian disease. I would be glad to
ask those of us who are sick with this illness: What is the Pascha; what is Lent? What
belongs to the Jews; what belongs to us? Why does their Pascha come once each year;
why do we celebrate ours each time we gather to celebrate the mysteries? What does the
feast of unleavened bread mean? And I would like to ask them many more questions
which contribute to understanding this subject.
    If I were to ask them, you would then clearly know how untimely the contentiousness
of these men is. They cannot explain what they do. But they refuse to ask anybody, just
as if they were wiser than anybody else. They deserve the strongest condemnation
because they do not have the answers themselves, but they refuse to follow those who
have been appointed to lead them. They have simply risked all they have on this silly
practice and are throwing themselves head first down into the depths of danger.

                                             III
   When I have this to say against them, what argument of theirs will seem clever? They
ask: “Did you not observe this fast before?” It is not your place to say this to me, but I
would be justified in telling you that we, too, fasted at this time in earlier days, but still
we put more importance on peace than on the observance of dates. And I say to you what
Paul said to the Galatians: “Become like me, because I also have become like you.” What
does this mean? He was urging them to renounce circumcision, to scorn the sabbath, the
feast days, and all the other observances of the Law. When he saw they were frightened
and afraid that they might be subjected to chastisement and punishment for their
transgression, he gave them courage by the example of his own actions when he said:
“Become like me, because I also have become like you.”
   For, he said, I did not come from the Gentiles, did I? I was not without experience of
the Jewish way of life under the Law and the punishment set for those who transgress it,
was I? “I am a Hebrew of the Hebrews; as regards the Law, a Pharisee; as regards zeal, a
persecutor of the Church. But the things that were gain to me, these, for the sake of
Christ, I counted loss.” That is, once and for all I stood aloof from them. Therefore,
become like me, for I, too, was as you are.
    But why do I speak on my own account? Three hundred Fathers or even more
gathered together in the land of Bithynia and ordained this by law; yet you disdain their
decrees. You must choose one of two courses: either you charge them with ignorance for
their want of exact knowledge on this matter, or you charge them with cowardice because
they were not ignorant, but played the hypocrite and betrayed the truth. When you do not
abide by what they decreed, this is exactly the choice you must make. But all the events
of the Council make it clear that they showed great wisdom and courage at that time. The
article of faith they set forth at the Council show how wise they were, because they
blocked up the mouths of heretics and, like an impregnable wall, they repelled the
treachery of every hostile attack. They proved their courage during the war waged on the
Churches and the persecution which had but lately come to an end.
    Like champions in battle who have set up many memorials of victory and have
suffered many wounds, so, too, these champions of the Churches, who could count the
many tortures they had endured for their confession of the faith, came together from
every side, bearing on their bodies the marks of Christ’s wounds. Some could tell of their
hardships in the mines, others of the confiscation of all their possessions, and still others
of starvation and continuous floggings. Some could show where the flesh had been torn
from their ribs, some where their backs had been broken, some where their eyes had been
dug out, and still others where they had lost some other part of their bodies for the sake of
Christ. At that time the whole synodal gathering, welded together from these champions,
along with their definition of what Christians must believe, also passed a decree that they
celebrate the paschal feast in harmony together. They refused to betray their faith in those
most difficult times of persecution; would they sink to pretense and deceit on the question
of the Paschal observance?
    Look what you do when you condemn Fathers so great, so courageous, so wise. If the
Pharisee lost all the blessings he possessed because he condemned the publican, what
excuse will you have, what defense will you make for rising up against these great
teachers beloved of God, especially since your attack is so unjust and irrational? Did you
not hear Christ Himself say: “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there
am I in the midst of them?” But if Christ is in their midst where two or three are gathered
together, was not His presence all the more pervasive among the more than three hundred
Fathers at Nicaea? Christ was present there, it was Christ Who formulated and passed the
laws. Yet you condemn not only the Council Fathers but the whole world which
approved their judgment.
    Do you consider that the Jews are wiser than the Fathers who came from everywhere
in the world? How can you do that when the Jews have been driven from their ancestral
commonwealth and way of life and have no sacred festival to celebrate? I hear many say
that the Pascha and the feast of unleavened bread are one. But there is no feast of
unleavened bread among them, nor is there a Pascha. Why is there no feast of unleavened
bread among them? Hear the words of the Lawgiver: “You may not sacrifice the Passover
in anyone of the cities which the Lord your God gives you, but only in the place in which
His name shall be invoked.” And Moses was here speaking of Jerusalem.
    Do you see how God confined the festival to one city, and later destroyed the city so
that, even if it was against their wills, He might lead them away from that way of life?
Surely, it is clear to everybody that God foresaw what would come to pass. Why, then,
did He bring them together to that land from all over the world if He foresaw that their
city would be destroyed? Is it not very obvious that He did this because He wished to
bring their ritual to an end? God did bring the ritual to an end, but you go along with the
Jews, of whom the prophet said: “Who is blind but My children, or deaf but those who
lord it over them?”
   And against whom did they show their want of sense and feeling? Was it not against
the apostles, the prophets, and their teachers? Why must I mention teachers and prophets
when they slaughtered their own children? For they did sacrifice their sons and daughters
to demons. When they ignored the voice of nature, were they going to observe the
festival days? Tell me this. Did they not trample kinship under foot, did they not forget
their children, did they not forget the very God Who created them? Moses said: “You
have forsaken the God that begot you, and have forgotten the God that nurtured you.”
Were they going to keep the festivals after they had forsaken God? Who could say that?
   Christ did keep the Pascha with them. Yet He did not do so with the idea that we
should keep the Pascha with them. He did so that He might bring the reality to what
foreshadowed the reality. He also submitted to circumcision, kept the sabbath, observed
the festival days, and ate the unleavened bread. But He did all these things in Jerusalem.
However, we are subject to none of these things, and on this Paul spoke out loud and
clear: “If you be circumcised, Christ shall be of no advantage to you.” And again,
speaking of the feast of unleavened bread, he said: “Therefore let us keep festival, not
with the old leaven, not with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the
unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” For our unleavened bread is not a mixed flour
but an uncorrupted and virtuous way of life.

                                            IV
    Why did Christ keep the Pascha at that time? The old Pascha was a type of the Pascha
to come, and the reality had to supplant the type. So Christ first showed the
foreshadowing and then brought the reality to the banquet table. Once the reality has
come, the type which foreshadowed it is henceforth lost in its own shadow and no longer
fills the need. So do not keep pleading this excuse, but show me that Christ did command
us to observe the old Pascha. I am showing you quite the opposite. I am showing you that
Christ not only did not command us to keep the festival days but even freed us from the
obligation to do so.
    Hear what Paul had to say. And when I speak of Paul, I mean Christ; for it is Christ
Who moved Paul’s soul to speak. What, then, did Paul say? “You are observing days, and
months, and seasons, and years. I fear for you, lest perhaps I have labored in vain among
you.” And again: “As often as you shall eat this bread and drink this cup, you shall
proclaim the death of the Lord.” When he said: “As often as,” Paul gave the right and
power to decide this to those who approach the mysteries, and freed them from any
obligation to observe the festival days.
    Now our Pascha and Lent are not one and the same thing: the Pascha is one thing,
Lent another. Lent comes once each year; our Pascha is celebrated three times each week,
sometimes even four times, or rather as often as we wish. For the Pascha is not a fast but
the offering and sacrifice which is celebrated at each religious service. That you may
know that this is true, listen to Paul when he says: “For Christ, our Passover, has been
sacrificed,” and again: “As often as you shall eat this bread and drink the cup, you
proclaim the death of the Lord.”
   So as often as you approach the sacrificial banquet with a clean conscience, you
celebrate the Pascha. You celebrate it not when you fast but when you share in that
sacrifice. “For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the
death of the Lord.” Our Pascha is the proclamation of the Lord’s death. The sacrifice
which we offer today, that which was offered yesterday, and each day’s sacrifice is alike
and the same as the sacrifice offered on that Sabbath day; the sacrifice offered on that
Sabbath is no more solemn than today’s, nor is today’s of less value than that; they are
one and the same, alike filled with awe and salvation.
   Why, then, do we fast for forty days? In the past, and especially at the time when
Christ entrusted to us these sacred mysteries, many a man approached the sacrificial
banquet without thought or preparation. Since the Fathers realized that it was harmful for
a person to approach the mysteries in this heedless fashion, they came together and
marked out forty days for people to fast, pray, and gather together to hear the word of
God. Their purpose was that we might all scrupulously purify ourselves during this time
by our prayers, almsgiving, fasting, vigils tears, confessions, and all the other pious
practices, so that we might approach the mysteries with our consciences made as clean as
we could make them.
   And they did well when they came to our aid and established for us the practice of this
lenten fast. This is clear because, if we keep shouting and proclaiming a fast the whole
year through, no one listens to what we say. But as soon as the season of Lent draws near,
even the laziest of men rouses himself, even though no one counsels or advises him.
Why? He gets advice and counsel from the season of Lent.
   So if a Jew or pagan ask you why you are fasting, do not tell him that it is because of
the Pascha or because of the mystery of the cross. If you tell him that, you give him an
ample grip upon you. Tell him we fast because of our sins and because we are going to
approach the mysteries. The Pascha is not a reason for fasting or grief; it is a reason for
cheerfulness and joy. The cross has taken away sin; it was an expiation for the world, a
reconciliation for the ancient enmity. It opened the gates of heaven, changed those who
hated into friends; it took our human nature, led it up to heaven, and seated it at the right
hand of God’s throne. And it brought to us ten thousand other blessings.
   There is no need, then, to grieve or be downcast; we must rejoice and glory in all these
things. This is why Paul said: “But God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our
Lord Jesus Christ.” And again: “But God commends his charity towards us, because
when as yet we were sinners, Christ died for us.” John put it like this: “God so loved the
world.” Tell me, how did God love the world? John passed over all the other signs of
God’s love and put the cross in first place. For after he said: “God so loved the world,” he
said: “That He gave His only-begotten Son,” that He be crucified, “that those who believe
in Him may not perish but may have life everlasting.” If, then, the cross is the basis and
boast of love, let us not say that it is a cause for grief. Heaven forbid that we grieve
because of the cross. We grieve for our sins, and this is why we fast.
                                             V
    Although the catechumen keeps the fast each year, he does not celebrate the Pascha
since he does not share in the sacrifice. But even though a man is not observing the lenten
fast, he does celebrate the Pascha as long as he comes to the altar with a clean conscience
and shares in the sacrifice - whether it be today, tomorrow, or any day whatsoever. The
best time to approach the mysteries is determined by the purity of a man’s conscience and
not by his observance of suitable seasons.
    Yet we do just the opposite. We fail to cleanse our conscience and, even though we
are burdened with ten thousand sins, we consider that we have celebrated the Pascha as
long as we approach the mysteries on that feast day. But this is certainly not the case. If
you approach the altar on the very day of the Sabbath and your conscience be bad, you
fail to share in the mysteries and you leave without celebrating the Pascha. But if you
wash away your sins and share in the mysteries today, you do celebrate the Pascha in
precisely the proper way.
    Therefore you must safeguard this exactness and vigor of spirit, not in the observance
of the proper times but in your approach to the altar. Now you would elect to endure all
things rather than change this practice. So, too, you must disdain it and choose to do or
suffer anything so as not to approach the mysteries when you are burdened with sins.
    Be sure that God takes no account of such observance of special seasons. Hear Him as
He passes judgment on those at His right hand: “You saw Me hungry and gave Me to eat;
you saw Me thirsty and gave Me to drink; you saw Me naked and you covered Me.” But
He charged with quite different conduct those on His left hand. At another time He
brought forward another man in a parable and castigated him because He remembered the
evil the man had done. For He said: “You wicked servant, I forgave you all the debt.
Should not you then have had compassion also on your fellow servant, even as I had
compassion on you?” Again, when the virgins had no oil in their lamps, He locked them
out of the bridechamber. And He cast out another man who came into the feast without a
wedding garment because this man was garbed in filthy clothes and was wearing the
cloak of his fornication and uncleanness. But no one was ever punished or accused
because he observed the Pascha in this or that month.
    But why speak of ourselves since we have been set free from all such necessity? We
are citizens of a city above in heaven, where there are no months, no sun, no moon, no
circle of seasons. If you wish to give exact attention to the matter, you will see that, even
among the Jews, little account was made of the season of the Pascha, but they cared
greatly about the place for it, namely, Jerusalem. Some men came up to Moses and said
to him: “We are unclean through touching the dead body of a man. How shall we avoid
failing in the Lord’s offering?” He said to them: “Wait here and let me report it to God.”
Then, after he reported it, he brought back the law which says: “If any man be unclean
through touching a dead body, or be afar on a journey and be unable to keep the Pascha
in the first month, he shall keep it in the second.”
    And so is not the observance of the time annulled among the Jews so that the Pascha
may be observed in Jerusalem? Will you not show greater concern for the harmony of the
Church than for the season? So that you may seem to be observing the proper days, will
you outrage the common Mother of us all and will you cut asunder the Holy Synod? How
do you deserve pardon when you choose to commit sins so enormous for no good reason?
    But why must I speak of the Jews? No matter how eagerly and earnestly we wish it, it
is not altogether possible for us to observe that day on which He was crucified. This will
make it clear. Let us suppose the Jews had not sinned, that they were not hard of heart,
nor senseless, nor indifferent, nor despisers; suppose they had not fallen from their
ancestral way of life but were still carefully observing it. Even if this was the case, we
could not, by following in their footsteps, put our finger on the very day on which He was
crucified and fulfilled the Pascha. Let me tell how this is the case. When He was crucified
it was the first day of the feast of unleavened bread and the day of preparation.
    But it is not possible for both of these to fall always on the same day. This year the
first day of the feast of unleavened bread falls on Sunday, and the fast must still last for a
whole week. According to this, after Passiontide, after the cross and resurrection have
come and gone, we are still fasting. And it has often happened that, after the cross and
resurrection, our fast is still being observed because the week is not yet over. This is why
no observance of the exact time is possible.

                                             VI
   Let us not quarrel, let us not say: “After fasting these many years, am I to change
now?” Change for that very reason. Since you have been so long severed from the
Church, come back now to your Mother. No one says: “After I lived as her enemy so
long a time, I am ashamed to be reconciled now.” You have grounds for shame if you do
not change for the better but persist in your untimely contentiousness. That is what
destroyed the Jews. While they always kept looking for the old customs and life, these
were stripped from them and they turned to impiety.
   But why do I speak of fasting and the observance of special days? Paul continued to
observe the Law and to endure many a toil; he patiently put up with many journeys and
hardships; he surpassed all his contemporaries in the exact observance of that way of life.
But after he achieved the heights of that life and came to realize that he was doing all this
for his own hurt and destruction, he immediately changed. He did not say to himself:
“What is this? Am I to lose the reward for this great zeal of mine? Am I to waste all this
work?” Rather he was the quicker to change for the very reason that he might continue to
suffer that loss. He scorned justification by the Law so that he might receive the
justification of faith. And so he loudly proclaimed: “The things that were gain to me I
have counted as loss for Christ.” And Christ said: “If you offer your gift at the altar, and
there you remember that your brother has anything against you, go first and be reconciled
to your brother and then come and offer your gift.”
   What do you mean? If your brother has something against you, Christ does not permit
you to offer your sacrifice until you are reconciled to your brother. When you have the
whole Church and so many Fathers against you, do you have the hardihood to dare to
approach the divine mysteries before you put aside that unseemly enmity? Since this is
the way you feel, how could you celebrate the Pascha?
   I say this not only to those who are sick but also to you who are in good health. When
you who are well see how many are sick, you will show them great care and kindness,
you will pick them out, gather them together, and bring them back to their Mother.
Whatever they say against us, however they jump at us, no matter what else they do to us,
we must not grow weary and stop until we win them back. For there is nothing
comparable to peace and harmony.
    It is for this reason that, when the Father enters the church, he does not mount to this
chair until he has prayed for all of you; when he rises from this chair, he does not begin
his instruction until he has first given the peace to all. And when the priests are going to
give the blessing, they first pray for peace for you and then begin the blessing.
    And when the deacon bids you to pray all together, he also enjoins you in his prayer to
ask for the Angel of Peace, and that everything which concerns you be blessed with
peace. As he dismisses you from the assembly, he petitions peace for you and says: “Go
in peace.” And without this peace, it is altogether impossible for us to say or do anything.
For peace is our nurse and mother, she is very careful to cherish us and foster us. I am not
speaking of what is merely called by the name of peace, nor of the peace which comes
from sharing meals together, but of the peace which accords with God, the peace which
comes from the harmony sent by the Spirit. Many are now tearing this peace asunder by
destroying us and exalting the Jews. These men consider the Jews as more trustworthy
teachers than their own Fathers; they believe the account of Christ’s passion and death
which is given by those who slew Him. What could be more unreasonable than this?
    Do you not see that their Passover is the type, while our Pascha is the truth? Look at
the tremendous difference between them. The Passover prevented bodily death, whereas
the Pascha quelled God’s anger against the whole world; the Passover of old freed the
Jews from Egypt, while the Pascha has set us free from idolatry; the Passover drowned
the Pharaoh, but the Pascha drowned the devil; after the Passover came Palestine, but
after the Pascha will come heaven.
    Why, then, do you sit beside a lamp after the sun has appeared? Why do you wish to
nourish yourself on milk when solid food is being given to you? You were nourished
with milk so that you might not remain satisfied with milk; the lamp shone for you that it
might guide you and lead you by the hand into the light of the sun. Now that the era of
more perfect things has come, let us not run back to the former times, let us not observe
the days and seasons and years; rather, let us everywhere be careful to follow the Church
by paying heed to charity and peace before all things.
    Suppose the Church were to be tripped up and fall. The accurate computation of dates
would not succeed in making her slip as much as this division and schism would deserve
the blame. But I make no account of the exact date, since God makes no account of it, as
I proved when I devoted many discourses to this subject. But the one thing I seek is that
we do all things in peace and concord. If we do so, you will not stay home and get drunk
while we are fasting with the rest of the people, and the priests are praying together for
the whole world.
    Note well that this is of the devil’s doing and that it is not a single sin, nor two, nor
three, but far more than three. It cuts you off from the flock, it makes you ready to hold
so many Fathers in scorn, it hurls you into contentiousness, it thrusts you over to the
Jews, and furthermore it makes you a scandal both to your own family and to strangers.
How can we blame the Jews for waiting for you in their houses when it is you who go
running to them?
    These sins are not the only problem. During those days of the fast great harm could
come to you from your failure to take advantage of the Scripture readings, the religious
meetings in the church, the blessing, and the prayers said in common. Great harm could
come to you while you and your bad conscience are spending this whole time in fear and
dread that, like some foreigner or stranger, you may be caught in your sinful act. And
during all this time, in common with the Church, you should be discharging all your
religious duties in a spirit of confidence, pleasure, good cheer, and full freedom.
    The Church does not recognize the exact observance of dates. In the beginning the
Fathers decided to come together from widely separated places and to fix the Paschal
date; the Church paid respect to the harmony of their thinking, loved their oneness of
mind, and accepted the date they enjoined. My earlier remarks have proved adequately
that it is impossible for us or you or any other man to arrive at the exact date of the
Lord’s day. So let us stop fighting with shadows, let us stop hurting ourselves in the big
things while we are indulging our rivalry over the small.
    Fasting at this or that time is not a matter for blame. But to rend asunder the Church,
to be ready for rivalry, to create dissension, to rob oneself continuously of the benefits of
religious meetings - these are unpardonable, these do demand an accounting, these do
deserve serious punishment.
    I could have said much more than this. What I have said is enough for those who heed
me; those who fail to heed my words will not be helped even if I should have much more
to say. So let me finish my discourse at this point, and let us all pray together that our
brothers come back to us. Let us pray that they cling fondly to peace and stand apart from
untimely rivalry. Let us pray that they scorn this sluggish spirit of theirs and find a great
and lofty understanding. Let us pray that they be set free from this observance of days so
that all of us, with one heart and with one voice, may give glory to God and the Father of
our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory and power now and forever, world without end.

Amen.
                                        Homily IV
                Against the Jews and the trumpets of their Pascha

                                               I

   Again the Jews, the most miserable and wretched of all men, are going to fast, and
again we must make secure the flock of Christ. As long as no wild beast disturbs the
flock, shepherds, as they stretch out under an oak or pine tree and play their flutes, let
their sheep go off to graze with full freedom. But when the shepherds feel that the wolves
will raid, they are quick to throw down the flute and pick up their slingshots; they cast
aside the pipe of reeds and arm themselves with clubs and stones. They take their stand in
front of the flock, raise a loud and piercing shout, and oftentimes the sound of their shout
drives the wolf away before he strikes.
    I, too, in the past, frolicked about in explicating the Scriptures, as if I were sporting in
some meadow; I took no part in polemics because there was no one causing me concern.
But today the Jews, who are more dangerous than any wolves, are bent on surrounding
my sheep; so I must spar with them and fight with them so that no sheep of mine may fall
victim to those wolves.
   That fast will not be upon us for ten days or more. But do not be surprised that from
today on I am taking up my tools and building a fence around your souls. This is what the
hard-working farmer does. When he has a rushing stream nearby which may wash away
the fields he has tilled, he does not wait for winter. Long beforehand he fences in the
banks, builds up dikes, digs ditches, and makes every preparation against the flood.
While the stream runs quietly and is low in its bed, it is a simpler matter to restrain it;
when it has become swollen and is swept along with a violent rush of waters, it is no
longer so simple to oppose the flood. And so it is that long beforehand the farmer
anticipates the surge of the torrent and contrives by every means to keep his fields secure
in every way.
   As well as farmers, every soldier, sailor, and reaper makes it a practice to prepare
ahead. Before the hour of battle, the soldier cleans off his breastplate, examines his
shield, makes ready the bridle and bit, feeds and cares for his horse, and sees to it that he
is well prepared in every way. Before the sailor launches his ship into the harbor’s
waters, he prepares the keel, repairs the sides, hews and shapes the oars, stitches together
the sails, and makes ready all the other equipment of his ship. Many days before the
harvest, the reaper sharpens his sickle, gets ready the threshing-floor, his oxen, his
wagon, and everything else which may help him in the harvest. Indeed you can see men
everywhere making preparations for their business beforehand so that, when the time
does come, it is an easy matter for them to carry on their enterprise.
    I am following the example of these men. Many days beforehand I am making your
souls secure by exhorting you to flee from that accursed and unlawful fast. Do not tell me
that the Jews are fasting; prove to me that it is God’s will that they fast. If it be not God’s
will, then their fasting is more unlawful than any drunkenness. For we must not only look
at what they do but we must also seek out the reason why they do it.
   What is done in accordance with God’s will is the best of all things even if it seems to
be bad. What is done contrary to God’s will and decree is the worst and most unlawful of
all things-even if men judge that it is very good. Suppose someone slays another in
accordance with God’s will. This slaying is better than any loving-kindness. Let someone
spare another and show him great love and kindness against God’s decree. To spare the
other’s life would be more unholy than any slaying. For it is God’s will and not the nature
of things that makes the same actions good or bad.

                                             II
    Listen to me so that you may learn that this is true. Ahab once captured a king of Syria
and, contrary to God’s decree, saved his life. He had the Syrian king enjoy a seat by his
side and sent him off with great honor. About that time a prophet came to his companion
and “said to him: ‘In the word of the Lord, strike me.’ But his companion was not willing
to strike him. And the prophet said to him: ‘Because you would not hearken to the word
of the Lord, behold, you will depart from me and a lion will strike you.’ And he departed
from him, and the lion found him and struck him. Then the prophet found another man
and said: ‘Strike me.’ And the man did strike him and wounded him, and the prophet
bandaged up his face.”
    What greater paradox than this could there be? The man who struck the prophet was
saved; the one who spared the prophet was punished. Why? That you may learn that,
when God commands, you must not question too much the nature of the action; you have
only to obey. So that the first man might not spare him out of reverence, the prophet did
not simply say: “Strike me” but said: “Strike me in the word of God.” That is, God
commands it; seek no further. It is the King Who ordains it; reverence the rank of Him
Who commands and with all eagerness heed His word. But the man lacked the courage to
strike him and, on this account, he paid the ultimate penalty. But by the punishment he
subsequently suffered, he encourages us to yield and obey God’s every command.
    But after the second man had struck and wounded him, the prophet bound his own
head with a bandage, covered his eyes, and disguised himself. Why did he do this? He
was going to accuse the king and condemn him for saving the life of the king of the
Syrians. Now Ahab was an impious man and always a foe to the prophets. The prophet
did not wish Ahab to recognize him and then drive him from his sight; if the king drove
him away, he would not hear the prophet’s words of correction. So the prophet concealed
his face and any statement of his business in the hope that this would give him the
advantage when he did speak and that he might get the king to agree to the terms he
wanted.
    “When the king was passing by, the prophet called aloud to him and said: ‘Your
servant went forth to the campaign of war. Behold, a man brought another man to me and
said to me: “Guard this man for me. If he shall leap away and bound off, it will be your
life for his life, or you will pay a talent of silver.” And it happened that as your servant
turned his eyes this way and that, the man was not there.’ And the king of Israel said to
him: ‘This is your judgment before me: You slew the man.’ And the prophet hurried to
take the bandage from his eyes, and the king of Israel recognized that he was one of the
sons of the prophets. And he said to the king: ‘So says the Lord: “Because you let go
from your hand a man worthy of death, it will be your life for his life, and your people for
his people.”’”
    Do you see how not only God but men make this kind of judgment because both God
and men heed the end and the causes rather than the nature of what is done? Certainly
even the king said to him: “This is your judgment before me: you slew the man.” You are
a murderer, he said, because you let an enemy go. The prophet put on the bandage and
presented the case as if it were not the king but somebody else on trial, so that the king
might pass the proper sentence. And, in fact, this did happen. For after the king
condemned him, the prophet tore off the bandage and said: “Because you let go from
your hand a man worthy of death, it will be your life for his life, and your people for his
people.”
    Did you see what a penalty the king paid for his act of kindness? And what
punishment he endured in return for his untimely sparing of his foe? The one who spared
a life is punished; another, who slew a man, was held in esteem. Phinehas certainly slew
two people in a single moment of time-a man and his wife; and after he slew them, he
was given the honor of the priesthood. His act of bloodshed did not defile his hands; it
even made them cleaner.
    So you see that he who struck the prophet goes free, while he who refused to strike
him perishes; you see that he who spared a man’s life is punished, while he who refused
to spare a life is held in esteem. Therefore, always look into the decrees of God before
you consider the nature of your own actions. Whenever you find something which
accords with His decree, approve that-and only that.

                                             III
    Let us examine the matter of fasting and apply this rule to it. Suppose we should not
apply this rule but merely take the act of fasting and consider it with no reference to
anything else. The result will be great tumult and confusion. It is true that highwaymen,
grave-robbers, and sorcerers have their sides torn to pieces; it is also true that the martyrs
undergo this same suffering. What is done is the same, but the purpose and reason why it
is done is different. And so it is that there is a great difference between the criminals and
martyrs.
    In these cases we not only consider the torture but we first look for the intention and
the reasons why the torture is inflicted. And this is why we love the martyrs - not because
they are tortured but because they are tortured for the sake of Christ. But we turn our
backs on the robbers - not because they are being punished but because they are being
punished for their wickedness.
    So, too, in the matter of fasting, you must pass a judgment. If you see people fasting
for the sake of God, approve what they do; if you see that they do this against God’s will,
turn your back on them and hate them more than you do those who drink, revel, and
carouse. And in the case of this fasting we must inquire not only into the reason for
fasting but we must consider also the place and the time.
    But before I draw up my battle line against the Jews, I will be glad to talk to those
who are members of our own body, those who seem to belong to our ranks although they
observe the Jewish rites and make every effort to defend them. Because they do this, as I
see it, they deserve a stronger condemnation than any Jew. Not only the wise and
intelligent but even those with little reason and understanding would agree with me in
this. I need no clever arguments, no rhetorical devices, no prolix periodic sentences to
prove this. It is enough to ask them a few simple questions and then trap them by their
answers.
    What, then, are the questions? I will ask each one who is sick with this disease: Are
you a Christian? Why, then, this zeal for Jewish practices? Are you a Jew? Why then, are
you making trouble for the Church? Does not a Persian side with the Persians? Is not a
barbarian eager for what concerns the barbarians? Will a man who lives in the Roman
empire not follow our laws and way of life? Tell me this. If ever anyone living among us
is caught in collusion siding with the barbarians, is he not immediately punished? He is
given neither hearing nor examination, even if he has ten thousand arguments in his own
defense. If ever anyone living among the barbarians is clearly following Roman custom
and law, again, will he not suffer the same punishment? How, then, do you expect to be
saved by defecting to that unlawful way of life?
    The difference between the Jews and us in not a small one, is it? Is the dispute
between us over ordinary, everyday matters, so that you think the two religions are really
one and the same? Why are you mixing what cannot be mixed? They crucified the Christ
Whom you adore as God. Do you see how great the difference is? How is it, then, that
you keep running to those who slew Christ when you say that you worship Him Whom
they crucified? You do not think, do you, that I am the one who brings up the law on
which these charges are based, nor that I make up the form which the accusation takes?
Does not the Scripture treat the Jews in this way?
    Hear what Jeremiah says against those same Jews: “Go off to Kedar and see; send off
to the islands of the Kittim and find out if such things have happened.” What things? “If
the gentiles will change their gods, and indeed they are not gods, but you have changed
your glory and from it you will derive no profit.” He did not say: “You have changed
your God,” but, “your glory.” What he means is this. Those who worship idols and serve
demons are so unshaken in their errors that they choose not to abandon them nor desert
them for the truth. But you, who worship the true God, have cast aside the religion of
your fathers and have gone over to strange ways of worship. You did not show the same
firmness in regard to the truth that they did in regard to their error. That is why Jeremiah
says: “Find out if such things have happened, if the gentiles will change their gods, and
indeed they are not gods; but you have changed your glory and from it you will derive no
profit.” He did not say: “You have changed your God,” for God does not change. But he
did say: “You have changed your glory.” You did no harm to Me, God says, because no
harm has come to Me. But you did dishonor yourselves. You did not make My glory less,
but you did diminish your own.
    Let me also say this to those who are our own-if I must call our own those who side
with the Jews. Go to the synagogues and see if the Jews have changed their fast; see if
they kept the pre-Paschal fast with us; see if they have taken food on that day. But theirs
is not a fast; it is a transgression of the law, it is a sin, it is trespassing. Yet they did not
change. But you did change your glory and from it you will derive no profit; you did go
over to their rites.
    Did the Jews ever observe our pre-Paschal fast? Did they ever join us in keeping the
feast of the martyrs? Did they ever share with us the day of the Epiphanies? They do not
run to the truth, but you rush to transgression. I call it a transgression because their
observances do not occur at the proper time. Once there was a proper time when they had
to follow those observances, but now there is not. That is why what was once according
to the Law is now opposed to it.

                                             IV
    Let me say what Elijah said against the Jews. He saw the unholy life the Jews were
living: at one time they paid heed to God, at another they worshipped idols. So he spoke
some such words as these: “How long will you limp on both legs? If the Lord our God is
with you, come, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him.” Let me, too, now say this
against these Judaizing Christians. If you judge that Judaism is the true religion, why are
you causing trouble to the Church? But if Christianity is the true faith, as it really is, stay
in it and follow it. Tell me this. Do you share with us in the mysteries, do you worship
Christ as a Christian, do you ask Him for blessings, and do you then celebrate the festival
with His foes? With what purpose, then, do you come to the Church?
    I have said enough against those who say they are on our side but are eager to follow
the Jewish rites. Since it is against the Jews that I wish to draw up my battle line, let me
extend my instruction further. Let me show that, by fasting now, the Jews dishonor the
law and trample underfoot God’s commands because they are always doing everything
contrary to His decrees. When God wished them to fast, they got fat and flabby; when
God does not wish them to fast, they get obstinate and do fast; when He wished them to
offer sacrifices, they rushed off to idols; when He does not wish them to celebrate the
feast days, they are all eager to observe them.
    This is why Stephen said to them: “You always oppose the Holy Spirit.” This is the
one thing, he says, in which you show your zeal: in doing the opposite to what God has
commanded. And they are still doing that today. What makes this clear? The Law itself.
In the case of the Jewish festivals the Law demanded observance not only of the time but
also the place. In speaking about this feast of the Passover, the Law says to them
something such as this: “You will not be able to keep the Passover in any of the cities
which the Lord your God gives to you.” The Law bids them keep the feast on the
fourteenth day of the first month and in the city of Jerusalem. The Law also narrowed
down the time and place for the observance of Pentecost, when it commanded them to
celebrate the feast after seven weeks, and again, when it stated: “In the place which the
Lord your God chooses.” So also the Law fixed the feast of Tabernacles.
    Now let us see which of the two, time or place, is more necessary, even though neither
the one nor the other has the power to save. Must we scorn the place but observe the
time? Or should we scorn the time and keep the place? What I mean is something such as
this. The Law commanded that the Passover be held in the first month and in Jerusalem,
at a prescribed time and in a prescribed place. Let us suppose that there are two men
keeping the Passover. Suppose one of them neglects the place but observes the time;
suppose the other observes the place but neglects the time. Let the one who observes the
time but neglects the place celebrate the Passover in the first month, but far away from
Jerusalem; and let the one who observes the place but neglects the time celebrate the feast
in Jerusalem but in the second month instead of the first.
    Next, let us see which of these two is charged and accused, and which receives
approval and esteem. Will it be the one who transgressed in the matter of time but
observed the place, or the one who neglected the place but observed the time? If the man
who transgressed about the time so as to celebrate the feast in Jerusalem clearly deserves
esteem, but the one who observed the time while neglecting the place deserves to be
charged and accused for his impious action, it is quite obvious that those who do not keep
the Passover in the proper place are transgressing the Law, even if they maintain a
thousand times over that they are observing the proper time.
    Who will make this clear to us? Moses himself. As he tells it, even after some men
had observed the Passover outside Jerusalem, “they came up to Moses and said: ‘We are
unclean through touching the body of a dead man. We should not fail to offer the Lord’s
offering at its proper time among the sons of Israel, should we?’ And Moses said to them:
‘Stay here and I shall listen to what the Lord will command in your regard.’ And the Lord
spoke to Moses and said: ‘Speak to the sons of Israel and say: “If any man be unclean
through the body of a dead man, or if he be afar off on a journey, whether he be one of
you or of your descendants, he shall keep the Pascha in the second month.”’”
    He means something such as this. If anyone be away from home in the first month, let
him not keep the Passover outside the city; but let him return to Jerusalem and keep it in
the second month. Let him disregard the time so as not to fail in the matter of the city. In
this way he shows that observance of the place is more necessary than observance of the
time.
    But what could the Jews say if they observe the Passover outside the city of
Jerusalem? Since they transgress in the more necessary matter of place, their observance
in the less important matter of time cannot be urged in their defense. The result is that
they are guilty of the worst transgression of the Law, even if it is obvious a thousand
times over that they are not neglecting the matter of time.
    This is certain not only from what I have said but also from the prophets. What excuse
would the Jews of today have when it is clear that the Jews of old never offered sacrifice,
nor sang hymns in an alien land, nor did they observe any such fasts as they do today? To
be sure, the Jews of old were expecting to recover the way of life in which they could
observe these rituals. Therefore, they remained obedient to the Law and did what it
commanded, for the Law told them to expect this. But the Jews of today have no hope of
recovering their forefathers’ way of life. In what prophet can they find proof that they
will? They have no hope, but they cannot bear to give up these practices. And yet, even if
they were expecting to recover the old way of life, even so they ought to be imitating
those holy men of old by neither fasting nor observing any other such ritual.

                                             V
   To prove to you that the Jews in exile observed none of these rituals, hear what they
said to those who asked them to do so. For their barbarian captors were urging them by
force and demand to play their musical instruments. “Sing to us a hymn of the Lord,”
they said. But the Jews clearly understood that the Law commanded them not to do so.
Therefore, they said: “How shall we sing the song of the Lord in a strange land?” And,
again, the three boys who were captives in Babylon said: “At this time we have no prince
or prophet nor place to offer sacrifice in your sight and find mercy.” Certainly there was
much room for a place of sacrifice in the country, but since the temple was not there, they
steadfastly refrained from offering sacrifice.
   And again God spoke to His people through the lips of Zechariah: “For these seventy
years you have not kept a fast for Me, have you?” He was speaking of the captivity. Tell
me. By what right, then, do you Jews fast today, when your ancestors neither offered
sacrifices, nor fasted, nor kept the feasts? And this makes it especially clear that they did
not observe the Passover. Where there was no sacrifice, there no festival was held,
because all the feasts had to be celebrated with a sacrifice.
    Let me provide proof for this very point. Listen to the words of Daniel: “In those days
I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. I ate not desirable bread, and neither flesh nor
wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself with ointment in those weeks. And it
came to pass on the twenty-fourth day of the first month that I saw the vision.” Pay
careful heed to me here, for this text makes it clear that they did not observe the Passover.
Let me tell you how this is. The Jews were not permitted to fast during the days of the
feast of unleavened bread. But for twenty-one days Daniel took no food at all. And what
proves that the twenty-one days included the days of the feast of unleavened bread? We
learn this from what he said, namely, that it was on the twenty-fourth day of the first
month.
    But the Passover comes to an end on the twenty-first of that month. If they began the
feast on the fourteenth day of the first month and then continued it for seven days, they
then come to the twenty-first. Nonetheless, Daniel steadfastly continued his fast even
after the Passover had come and gone. For if Daniel had begun his fast on the third day of
the first month and then continued through a full twenty-one days, he passed the
fourteenth, went on for seven days after that, and then kept fasting for three more days.
    How, then, do the Jews of today avoid being cursed and defiled? The holy ones of old
followed no such observances of what the Law prescribed, because they were in a strange
land. Are today’s Jews doing just the opposite so that they may stir up contentiousness
and strife? If some of the holy ones of old who spoke and acted this way were lax and
irreverent, perhaps we would have considered their failure to observe these precepts as a
sign of their laxity. But they loved and revered God, they gave their very lives for what
God had decreed. So it is abundantly clear that failure to keep the Law was not the result
of their laxity. Rather, their failure to keep the Law was prompted by the Law itself,
because the Law said they must not observe those rituals outside Jerusalem.
    This brings us to a conclusion on another matter of great importance. The observances
regarding sacrifices, sabbaths, new moons, and all such things prescribed by the Jewish
way of life of that day were not essential. Even when they were observed they could
make no great contribution to virtue; when neglected they could not make the excellent
man worthless, nor degrade in any way the sanctity of his soul. But those men of old,
while still on earth, manifested by their piety a way of life that rivals the way the angels
live. Yet they followed none of these observances, they slew no beasts in sacrifice, they
kept no feast, they made no display of fasting. But they were so pleasing to God that they
surpassed this human nature of ours and, by the lives they lived, they drew the whole
world to a knowledge of God.
    Who could match a Daniel? Who could match the three boys in Babylon? Did they not
anticipate the greatest commandment which the Gospels give, the commandment which
is the chief source of all blessings? Had they not already proved this by their deeds? For
John says: “Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life of his friends.”
But they laid down their lives for God.
    We must admire them for this. But we must also admire them because they were not
doing it for any reward. This is why the boys in Babylon said: “There is a God in heaven,
and He can save us; but if He will not, be it known, O king, that we will not worship your
gods.” The prophet means: The reward is sufficient for us that we are dying for God. And
they gave proof of this great virtue even though they were observing none of the Law’s
prescriptions.

                                            VI
    You Jews will say: “Why, then, did God impose these prescriptions if He did not wish
them observed?” And I say to you: If He wished them observed, why, then, did He
destroy your city? God had to do one or the other of two things if He wished these
prescriptions to remain in force: either He had to command you not to sacrifice in one
place, since He intended to scatter you to every corner of the world; or, if He wished you
to offer sacrifice only in Jerusalem, He was obliged not to scatter you to every corner of
the world and He should have made that one city impregnable, because it was there alone
that sacrifice has to be offered.
    Again the Jews will say: “What is this, then? Was God contradicting Himself when He
ordered the Jews to sacrifice in one place but then barred them from that very place?” By
no means! God is very consistent. He did not wish you to offer sacrifices from the
beginning, and I bring forward as my witness of this the very prophet who said: “Hear the
word of the…Lord, you rulers of Sodom, give ear to the law of our God, you people of
Gomorrah.” But it was really to the Jews the prophet spoke, not to those dwelling in
Sodom and Gomorrah. Yet he calls the Jews by the names of these people because, by
imitating their evil lives, the Jews had developed a kinship with those who dwelt in those
cities.
    In fact Isaiah called the Jews dogs and Jeremiah called them mare-mad horses. This
was not because they suddenly changed natures with those beasts but because they were
pursuing the lustful habits of those animals. ‘What care I for the number of your
sacrifices?’ says the Lord. But it is clear that those who dwelt in Sodom never offered
sacrifices. Isaiah is aiming his remarks against the Jews when he calls them by the name
of those brute animals, and he does so for the reason I just mentioned. “‘What care I for
the number of your sacrifices’ says the Lord ‘I am filled up with your holocausts of rams
I desire not the fat of sheep, and the blood of bulls, not even if you come to appear before
me. For who required all these things from your hands?’” Did you hear His voice clearly
saying that He did not require these sacrifices from you from the beginning? If He had
made sacrifice a necessity, He would also have subjected the first Jews to this way of life
and all the patriarchs who flourished before the Jews of Isaiah’s day.
    Then the Jews will ask: “How is it that He straightway did permit the Jews to
sacrifice?” He was giving in to their weakness. Suppose a physician sees a man who is
suffering from fever and finds him in a distressed and impatient mood. Suppose the sick
man has his heart set on a drink of cold water and threatens, should he not get it, to find a
noose and hang himself, or to hurl himself over a cliff. The physician grants his patient
the lesser evil, because he wishes to prevent the greater and to lead the sick man away
from a violent death.
    This is what God did. He saw the Jews choking with their mad yearning for sacrifices.
He saw that they were ready to go over to idols if they were deprived of sacrifices. I
should say, He saw that they were not only ready to go over, but that they had already
done so. So He let them have their sacrifices: The time when the permission was granted
should make it clear that this is the reason. After they kept the festival in honor of the evil
demons, God yielded and permitted sacrifices. What He all but said was this: “You are all
eager and avid for sacrifices. If sacrifice you must, then sacrifice to Me.” But even if He
permitted sacrifices, this permission was not to last forever; in the wisdom of His ways,
He took the sacrifices away from them again.
    Let me use the example of the physician again - there is really no reason why I should
not. After he has given into the patient’s craving, he gets a drinking cup from his home
and gives instructions to the sick man to satisfy his thirst from this cup and no other.
When he has gotten his patient to agree, he leaves secret orders with the servants to
smash the cup to bits; in this way he proposes, without arousing the patient’s suspicion,
to lead him secretly away from the craving on which he has set his heart.
    This is what God did, too. He let the Jews offer sacrifice but permitted this to be done
in Jerusalem and nowhere else in the world. After they had offered sacrifices for a short
time, God destroyed the city. Why? The physician saw to it that the cup was broken. By
seeing to it that their city was destroyed, God led the Jews away from the practice of
sacrifice, though it was against their will. If God were to have come right out and said:
“Keep away from sacrifice,” they would not have found it easy to keep away from this
madness for offering victims. But now, by imposing the necessity of offering sacrifice in
Jerusalem, He led them away from this mad practice; and they never noticed what He had
done.
    Let me make the analogy clear. The physician is God, the cup is the city of Jerusalem,
the patient is the implacable Jewish people, the drink of cold water is the permission and
authority to offer sacrifices. The physician has the cup destroyed and, in this way, keeps
the sick man from what he demands at an ill-suited time. God destroyed the city itself,
made it inaccessible to all, and in this way led the Jews away from sacrifices. If He did
not intend to make ready an end to sacrifice, why did God, Who is omnipresent and fills
the universe, confine so sacred a ritual to a single place? Why did He confine worship to
sacrifices, the sacrifices to a place, the place to a time, and the time to a single city, and
then destroy the city? It is indeed a strange and surprising thing. The whole world is left
open to the Jews, but they are not permitted to sacrifice there; Jerusalem alone is
inaccessible to them, and that is the only place where they are permitted to offer sacrifice.
    Even if a man be completely lacking in understanding, should it not be clear and
obvious to him why Jerusalem was destroyed? Suppose a builder lays the foundation for
a house, then raises up the walls, arches over the roof, and binds together the vault of the
roof with a single keystone to support it. If the builder removes the keystone, he destroys
the bond which holds the entire structure together. This is what God did. He made
Jerusalem what we might call the keystone which held together the structure of worship.
When He overthrew the city, He destroyed the rest of the entire structure of that way of
life.

                                             VII
   Let then my battle with the Jews wait awhile. I did fight a skirmish of words with
them today, but I said only what was enough to save our brothers from danger. Perhaps I
said much more than that. But I must now exhort those of you who are here in church to
show great concern for the fellow members of our body. I do not want to hear you say:
“What concern is this of mine? Why interfere and meddle in other people’s affairs?”
    Our Master died for us. Will you not take the trouble to say a single word? What
excuse or defense will you find for this? Tell me this. If you look the other way when so
many souls are perishing, how will you find the confidence to stand before the judgment
seat of Christ? I wish I could know which ones are running off to the synagogue. Then I
would not have needed your help but I would have straightened them out with all speed.
    Whenever your brother needs correction, even if you must lay down your life, do not
refuse him. Follow the example of your Master. If you have a servant or if you have a
wife, be very careful to keep them at home. If you refuse to let them go to the theater, you
must refuse all the more to let them go to the synagogue. To go to the synagogue is a
greater crime than going to the theater. What goes on in the theater is, to be sure, sinful;
what goes on in the synagogue is godlessness. When I say this I do not mean that you let
them go to the theater, for the theater is wicked; I say it so that you will be all the more
careful to keep them away from the synagogue.
    What is it that you are rushing to see in the synagogue of the Jews who fight against
God? Tell me, is it to hear the trumpeters? You should stay at home to weep and groan
for them, because they are fighting against God’s command, and it is the devil who leads
them in their revels and dance. As I said before, if there once was a time when God did
permit what is against His will, now it is a violation of His law and grounds for
punishments beyond number. Long ago, when the Jews did have sacrifices, they did
sound their trumpets; now God does not permit them to do this.
    At least listen to the reason why they got the trumpets. God said to Moses: “Make for
yourself trumpets of beaten silver.” Next God explained how the trumpets were to be
used, for He went on to say: “You will sound them over the holocausts, and the sacrifices
for your deliverance.”
    But where is the altar? Where is the ark? Where is the tabernacle and the holy of
holies? Where is the priest? Where are the cherubim of glory? Where is the golden altar
of incense? Where is the mercy-seat? Where is the bowl? Where are the drink offerings?
Where is the fire sent down from heaven? Did you lose all those and keep only the
trumpets? Do you Christians not see that what the Jews are doing is mockery rather than
worship?
    I blame the Jews for violating the Law. But I blame you much more for going along
with the lawbreakers, not only those of you who run to the synagogues but also those of
you who have the power to stop the Judaizers but are unwilling to do so. Do not say to
me: “What do I have in common with him? He is a stranger, and I do not know him.” I
say to you that as long as he is a believer, as long as he shares with you in the same
mysteries, as long as he comes to the same church, he is more closely related to you than
your own kinsmen and friends. Remember, it is not only those who commit robbery who
pay the penalty for their crime; those, too, who could have stopped them but did not, pay
the same penalty. Those guilty of impiety are punished, and so, too, are those who could
have led them from godless ways but did not, because they were too timid or lazy to be
willing to do so.
    To be sure, the man who buried his talent gave it back to his master whole and entire;
yet he was punished because he did not make a profit from it. Suppose, then, that you
yourself remain pure and free from blame; if you fail to make a profit from your talent, if
you fail to bring back to salvation your brother who is perishing, you will suffer the same
punishment which he does.
    Is it some great burden I am asking of you, my beloved? Let each one of you bring
back for me one of your brothers to salvation. Let each one of you interfere and meddle
in your brother’s affairs so that we may come to tomorrow’s service with great
confidence, because we are bringing gifts more valuable than any others, because we are
bringing back the souls of those who have wandered away. Even if we must suffer
revilement, even if we must be beaten, even if we must endure any other pain
whatsoever, let us do everything to win these brothers back. Since these are sick brothers
who trample us underfoot, revile us, and rail against us, we are not stung by their insults;
we want to see one thing and only one thing: the return to health of him who behaved in
this outrageous way.
    Many a time a sick man tears the physician’s clothes. But the physician does not let
this stop him from trying to cure his patient. It is normal, then, for physicians to show
such concern for their patients’ bodily health. When so many souls are perishing, is it
right for us to slacken our efforts and to think we are suffering no terrible harm, even if
our own members are rotting with disease? Paul did not think so. What did he say? “Who
is weak, and I am not weak? Who is scandalized, and I am not on fire?” See to it that you
catch this fire.
    Suppose you see your brother perishing. Even if he reviles you, if he insults you, if he
strikes you, if he threatens to become your foe, if he menaces you in any other way, show
your courage and endure all these insults so that you may win his salvation. If he should
become your foe, God will be your friend and will give you in return many great
blessings on that day.
    May the prayers of the saints save those who have wandered into error, may you who
are faithful be successful in your hunt, may those who have blasphemed God be freed
from their ungodliness and come to know Christ, who died for them on the cross, so that
all of us may, with one accord and one voice, give glory to God and the Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and power together with the Holy Spirit for ever and
ever.

Amen.
                                        Homily V
                                              I
    How is it that we have a larger throng assembled here today? Surely, you have come
together to demand that I keep my promise; you are here to receive the silver tried in the
fire which I pledged to pay over to you. For as the Psalmist says: “The words of the Lord
are pure words: silver tried by the fire, purged from the earth.” Blessed be God because
He has put in your hearts the yearning to hear words good for your souls.
    When wine-tipplers get up each morning, they start their meddlesome probing to
discover where they will find the day’s drinking-bouts, carousals, parties, revels, and
drunken brawls; they busy themselves searching for bottles, mixing bowls, and drinking
cups. But when you get up each day, you go around asking where you will find
exhortation and counsel, encouragement, and instruction, the kind of discourse which
draws you to give glory to Christ.
This makes me the more eager to hold fast to my topic and, from the fullness of my heart,
to keep the promises I have made.
    My battle against the Jews did come to a fitting end. The monument marking their
rout has been set up, the victory crown belongs to me, and I have captured the prize I
sought from my previous discourse. For the task I had undertaken was to prove that what
the Jews now do by way of ritual transgresses and violates the Law. It was my desire to
show that in these rites we have men doing battle with God, creatures waging war against
Him. And with God’s help, I did give precise proof of this. For even if the Jews were
going to recover their own city, if they were about to return to their old commonwealth
and way of life and see their temple rebuilt - an event which will never come to pass -
even so, they have no defense for their present practices.
    The three boys in Babylon, Daniel, and all the others who spent their days in captivity
kept expecting to recover their own city and, after seventy years, to see the soil of their
fatherland; they kept looking forward to living again under their ancestral laws. They had
a clear pledge and promise that this would come to pass. However, until the promise was
fulfilled, until they did return, they did not dare to perform any of the prescribed rites the
way the Jews of today do.
    This is the way you, too, can silence and gag the Jews. Ask the Jew why he observes
the fast when he has no city. If he shall say: “Because I expect to recover my city,” you
say to him: “Stop fasting, then, until you do recover it. Certainly, until the holy ones of
old returned to their own fatherland, they practiced none of the rites which you now
practice. From this it is clear that you are violating the law, even if you are going to
recover your city, as you say; you are transgressing your covenant with God and
outraging that old commonwealth and way of life.” What I have said to your loving
assembly both here and in my previous discourse is enough to silence and gag the
shameless arguments of the Jews and to prove that they are transgressing the Law.
    It was not my sole purpose to stitch shut the mouths of the Jews. I also was anxious to
give you more extensive instruction in the teachings of the Church. Come now, and let
me give you abundant proof that the temple will not be rebuilt and that the Jews will not
return to their former way of life. In this way you will come to a clearer understanding of
what the Apostles taught, and the Jews will be all the more convicted of acting in a
godless way. As witness I shall produce not an angel, not an archangel, but the very
Master of the whole world, our Lord Jesus Christ. When He came into Jerusalem and saw
the temple, He said: “Jerusalem will be trodden down by many nations, until the times of
many nations be fulfilled.” By this He meant the years to come until the consummation of
the world. And again, speaking to His disciples about the temple, He made the threat that
a stone would not remain upon a stone in that place until the time when it be destroyed.
His threat was a prediction that the temple would come to a final devastation and
completely disappear.
    But the Jew totally rejects this testimony. He refuses to admit what Christ said. What
does the Jew say? “The Man Who said this is my foe. I crucified Him, so how am I to
accept His testimony?” But this is the marvel of it. You Jews did crucify Him. But after
He died on the cross, He then destroyed your city; it was then that He dispersed your
people; it was then that He scattered your nation over the face of the earth. In doing this,
He teaches us that He is risen, alive, and in heaven.
    Because you were not willing to recognize His power through His benefactions, He
taught you by His punishment and vengeance that no one can struggle with or prevail
against His might and strength. But even so, you do not believe in Him, you do not recog-
nize that He is God and Master of all the world, but you consider Him just another man.
    Come then and let us conduct a test as we would in the case of a man. How do we test
human beings? If we see that a man tells the truth in all things and never in any way lies
to another, we accept his word, even if he happens to be a foe. At least we do so if we
have any sense. In the same way, when we see that a man is a liar, even if he tells the
truth in some instances, we do not readily accept his word.

                                              II
    Let us look, then, at the character and habits of Christ. Not only did He predict and
foretell the destruction of the temple but He also prophesied during His life many other
things which were going to come to pass a long time afterwards. Let us, then, bring these
predictions into the open. If you see that He is lying in these predictions, then do not
accept His prediction about the temple, nor consider it deserving of your belief. But if
you see that He tells the truth in all things and that this prediction has been fulfilled, if
you see that long years have passed but still testify to the truth of what He foretold, let us
have no more of your impudence and stubbornness in matters which are clearer than the
light of the sun.
    Let us see what else He predicted. There once came up to Him a woman with an
alabaster jar of precious ointment, and she poured it on Him. His disciples were indignant
at what happened and said: “Why was this not sold for three hundred denarii and given to
the poor?” He reproved them, however, and said “Why do you trouble the woman. She
has done a good deed. For I say to you, wherever on the whole earth this gospel is
preached, this also that she has done shall be told in memory of her.” Did He lie or did
He tell the truth? Was His prediction fulfilled or did it fail to come true? Put these
questions to the Jew. Even if he counts his shameless acts in the tens of thousands, he
will not be able to look at this prophecy in the face and stare it down.
    Certainly we do hear her story told in all the churches. Consuls have stood listening to
it, and generals, too; men, women, the renowned, the distinguished, the famous ones in
every city. Wherever in the world you may go, everyone respectfully listens to the story
of her good service; her action is known in every corner of the earth.
    How many kings brought many and great blessings on their cities, how many kings
waged successful wars, set up many trophies of victory, saved nations, built cities, and in
addition, acquired countless revenues? Yet they, for all their great exploits, are buried in
the silence of oblivion. Many queens and great ladies have conferred benefits beyond
number on those subject to them. Yet some people do not even know them by name. But
this worthless woman, who only poured out her ointment, is praised everywhere in the
world; the long passage of years has failed to blot out the memory of her, and the time to
come will never quench her fame.
    And yet hers was not a deed of renown. For what renown was there in pouring out
some ointment? Nor was she a distinguished person, for she was a low woman and an
outcast. Nor was there a large audience to see, for only the disciples were gathered
around her. Nor was the place one where she could be easily seen. She made no entrance
onto a theater stage to perform her service but did her good deed in a house with only ten
people present.
    Nonetheless, even though she was a lowly person, even though only a few were there
to witness it, even though the place was undistinguished, neither these facts nor any
others could obscure the memory of that woman. Today, she is more illustrious than any
king or queen; no passage of years has buried in oblivion the service she performed.
    Tell me, now. How do you explain this? Who brought this about? Is it not the work of
the God to Whom this service was paid? Is it not God Who has spread the story of her
deed to every corner of the earth? Is it within the scope of human power to predict such
things as these? Who in his right mind could say that? We marvel and are astounded
when Christ foretells what He, Himself, will do. But when He predicts what others will
do and then makes these actions of others clear to all the world and worthy of every
man’s belief, it is still more astounding and marvellous.
    Again, He said to Peter: “Upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell
shall not prevail against it.” You Jews tell me how you can attack this prediction of His.
How can you show that this prophecy is false? The testimony of the facts will not allow
it, even if you are obstinate and dispute it ten thousand times. How many conflagrations
of war have been kindled against the Church? Many armies have taken the field, many
weapons have been used, every form of punishment and torture has been contrived. There
were frying-pans, racks, caldrons, ovens, cisterns, cliffs, fangs of wild beasts, seas,
confiscations, and ten thousand other means of torture, unmentionable and unendurable.
And these were used not only by foreigners but by our own countrymen. Indeed, a sort of
civil war held everything in its grip; rather, it was more bitter than any civil war. Not only
did citizens do battle with citizens but kinsmen with kinsmen, members of the same
household with each other; friends fought friends. Yet none of these things destroyed the
Church nor made it weaker.
    Certainly, the wonderful and unexpected thing about this is that all these attacks were
made against the Church when it was just beginning. If these dread persecutions were let
loose against it after it had taken root and after the Gospel message had been planted
everywhere in the world, it would not be so strange that the Church had resisted these
attacks. But it was at the beginning of her teaching mission, when the seed of faith had
just been sown and the understanding of those who heard the word was still somewhat
weak, that these violent wars broke out in all their fury. The fact that they did not weaken
our position but even made us prosper all the more is the miracle that surpasses all
miracles.
   You may say that the Church now stands firm because of the peace granted to it by the
emperors. To keep you from saying this, God permitted the Church to be attacked and
persecuted at a time when it was smaller and seemed to be weaker. God wanted you to
learn that the security the Church enjoys today does not come to it from the peace granted
by emperors, but from the power of God.

                                            III
   To help you see the truth of this, consider how many men wished to introduce their
teachings among the Greeks and to establish a new commonwealth and way of life. Think
of such men as Zeno, Plato, Socrates, Diagoras, Pythagoras, and countless others. Yet
they fell so far short of success that many people do not even now know them by name.
But Christ not only wrote a constitution but even brought a new way of life to the whole
world. How many miracles do they say that Apollonius of Tyana worked? But all his
deeds were a fraud, a vain show, and devoid of truth. And you may learn this from the
fact that, in an instant, they vanished and disappeared.
    Let no one consider it an insult to Christ that, while speaking of Him, I mentioned
Pythagoras, Plato, Zeno and the man from Tyana. I am not doing this of my own choice
but out of consideration for the weakness of the Jews, who see in Christ a mere man. This
is what Paul did when he came to Athens. On entering the city, he took the topic for his
exhortation not from the prophets or the gospels, but from the Athenians’ altar to the
unknown God. He did not consider their altar more deserving of faith than the gospels,
nor did he account the inscription on it more worthy of honor than the prophets. But he
was speaking to pagan Greeks, who believed in none of our sacred books, and so he used
arguments from their own beliefs to subdue them. He did the same thing at Corinth when
he said: “I have become to the Jews a Jew, to those without the Law, as one without the
Law (though I am not without the law of God, but am under the law of Christ).”
   The Old Testament does this, too, in speaking to the Jews about God. It says: “Who is
like to you among the gods, O Lord?” What do you mean, Moses? Is there any
comparison at all between the true God and false gods? Moses would reply: “I did not say
this to make a comparison; but since I was talking to the Jews, who had a lofty opinion of
demons, I condescended to their weakness and brought in the lesson I was teaching in
this way.” Let me also say that since my discussion is with the Jews, who consider that
Christ is mere man and One Who violated their Law, I compared Him with those whom
the pagan Greeks admire.
    If you wish me to make a comparison with men from among the Jews themselves,
men who tried to do what Christ did, men who gathered disciples and were proclaimed as
leaders and chiefs but who were immediately forgotten, let me try to prove it in this way.
Surely this was what Gameliel did to stop their mouths. When he saw the Sanhedrin in a
rage and eager to shed the blood of the disciples, he wished to put a stop to their
ungovernable anger. So he gave orders for the apostles to be put outside for a little while
and then had this to say to the Jews.
    “Take care what you are about to do to these men. For some time ago there rose up
Theudas, claiming to be somebody, and four hundred men followed him, but he perished
and all his followers were scattered abroad. And after him there rose up Judas the
Galilean, who drew a considerable crowd; he too died and his disciples perished. So now
I say to you, Take care, for if this work is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of
God, you will not be able to overthrow it. Else perhaps you may find yourselves fighting
even against God.”
    Where, then, is the proof that if this is the work of men, it will perish? You had proof
of this, said Gamaliel, from the cases of Judas and Theudas. So if the Man Whom the
Apostles proclaim is a leader such as Judas and Theudas, if He does not do all He does by
the power of God, wait a little while, and the outcome of events will give credibility to
what you say. You will know from the way things turn out whether He is a deceiver, as
you say, and One Who violates the Law, or the God Who rules all things and, with
ineffable power, orders and arranges our affairs.
    And this did come to pass. They did wait. The very outcome of events did prove that
His power was divine and unconquerable. That trick which had deceived many men was
turned around and back on the devil’s own head. When Satan saw that Christ had come,
he wished to cover up the reality of His coming and to hide the true purpose of His
Incarnation. So he brought on stage the rogues whom we mentioned, so that Christ might
be considered one of them. And he did this on the cross, too, when he had two thieves
crucified with Christ; he did the same thing in the case of Christ’s coming when he strove
to conceal the truth by putting it alongside the false. But he failed in both cases, and his
very effort provided the strongest proof of Christ’s power.
    Tell me this. If three men were crucified in the same place, at the same time, by the
same judges, why have the two thieves been lost in silence, while He alone is
worshipped? Again, if many men introduced new governments, got themselves
adherents, and today not even their names are known, how is it that Christ is paid divine
service throughout the world?
    Comparison makes facts especially clear. You Jews make this comparison, then, and
learn how the truth has prevailed. What deceiver has gotten for himself so many churches
all over the world, what rogue extended his worship to the ends of the earth, what
imposter has every man bowing down before him, and this in the face of ten thousand
obstacles? No one did. It is clear, then, that Christ was not a deceiver; He has saved us,
He confers blessings upon us, He takes care of us, He protects our lives.
    Let me add one more prediction before I return to the topic on which I proposed to
speak. Christ said: “I did not come to send peace upon the earth, but a sword.” However,
He did not speak of what He would Himself desire but He was foretelling the end to
which things would come. He went on to say: “For I have come to set a man at variance
with his father, and a daughter-in-law with her mother-in-law, and a daughter with her
mother.”
    Tell me this. How did He foretell this if He was a mere man and one of the crowd?
For this is what He meant. It sometimes happened that in one and the same house one
person would believe, and another would not; then the father would want to lead his own
son to deny his faith. This is why Christ predicted this very thing. What He was saying
was this: “The power of the gospel will be so strong that sons despise their fathers,
daughters their mothers, and parents their children. For they will choose not only to scorn
members of their own household, but even to lay down their lives, to endure and suffer
all things rather than deny their religion.”
    How could He have managed to know this if He was just another man out of the
crowd? How did it occur to Him to reach the conclusion that sons would pay greater
veneration to Him than to their fathers, that parents would find Him dearer than their own
children, that wives would have a more ardent love for Him than for their own husbands?
And how did He know that this would happen not in one home only, nor in two, nor
three, nor ten, nor twenty, nor a hundred, but in every corner of the world, in every city
and country, on land and sea, in populous places and in those with few, if any, dwellings?
No one can say that He foretold this and then failed to fulfill His prediction. Certainly it
was not only at the very beginning but it is true even today that, because of their religion,
many are hated and cast forth from their fathers’ houses. However, they pay no heed to
this; the fact that they suffer it for the sake of Christ is consolation enough for them.
    Tell me this. What human being ever had the power to do this? Yet this Man made all
these predictions about that woman, about the Church, and about the wars which would
be waged against it. He also predicted that the temple would be destroyed, that Jerusalem
would be captured, and that the city would no longer be the city of the Jews as it had been
in the past.
    If He was wrong and deceived you in all those other predictions, and they did not
come true then refuse to believe what He foretold of Jerusalem and the temple. But you
do see those other predictions gloriously fulfilled and their truth waxing stronger with
each passing day. The gates of hell did not prevail against the Church, after so many
years the story of what that woman did is still told all over the world, and men who
believed in Him did pay greater veneration to Him than to their own parents, wives, and
children. If this is true, tell me, why do you reject this one prediction about the temple,
especially since the testimony of time puts the gag of silence on your shameless words?
    Suppose a mere ten, twenty, thirty, or fifty years were to have passed since the capture
of Jerusalem. Even then you would have absolutely no right to show your impudence by
rejecting His prediction, but if you wished to be obstinate, you might have had some
pretext for protest left to you. But not only fifty years but many more than one, two, or
three centuries have passed since Jerusalem was captured. And never has there been seen
a single trace or shadow of the change for which you are waiting. Why, then, are you so
rash and foolish as to keep up your shameless objections?

                                             IV
   We have said enough to prove that the temple will never be rebuilt. But since the
abundance of proofs which support this truth is so great, I shall turn from the gospels to
the prophets, because the Jews put their belief in them before all others. And from the
words of the prophets I shall make it clear that the Jews will recover neither their city nor
their temple in days to come. And yet the need was not mine to prove that the temple will
not be restored. This was not my obligation; the Jews have the obligation to prove the op-
posite, namely, that the temple will be rebuilt. For the years that have elapsed stand by
my side in the combat and bear witness to the truth of my words.
   Even though the outcome of events defeats them, even though they cannot prove in
deeds what they maintain in words, even though they are simply making a rash boast,
they have a right to present their testimony. The proof for my position is that the events
of which I speak did actually occur: Jerusalem did fall and has not been restored after so
many years. Their position rests on their unsupported words.
    Yet the burden of proof was on them to show that the city would rise again. This is the
procedure for giving proofs in courts of law. Suppose two people are in dispute over
some matter and the first party presents the claim for his position in writing, while the
second party attacks his statement. The second party must then bring forward witnesses
or other proofs in refutation of what is said in the written deposition; but the plaintiff
need not do so. This is what the Jews must now do. They must produce a prophet who
says that by all means Jerusalem will be rebuilt. For if there was going to be an end to the
present captivity for you Jews, there was every need for the prophets to foretell this, as is
clear to anyone who has even so much as glanced at the prophetic books. For it was the
custom of old among the Jews that, under inspiration from above, their prophets would
foretell the good or evil things which were going to befall the people.
    What was the reason for this? It was because the Jews were so arrogant and obstinate.
They immediately forgot what God had done for them, they ascribed His kindness to
demons and reckoned that His blessings had come from them. Even when the sea was
divided for them, as they went forth from Egypt, and while other wonderful things were
happening to them, they forgot the God Who was performing these miracles and
attributed them to others who were not gods. For they said to Aaron: “Make for us gods
who will be our leaders.” And they said to Jeremiah: “We will not listen to what you say
in the name of the Lord. Rather we will continue doing what we had proposed: we will
burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out libations to her, as we and our fathers,
our kings and princes have done. Then we had enough food to eat and we were well off;
we suffered no misfortune. But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven
and pouring out libations to her, we are in need of everything and are being destroyed by
the sword and by hunger.” The inspired prophets, then, foretold what would happen to
the Jews so that they would ascribe none of the events to idols, but would believe that
both punishments and blessings always come from God: the punishment came for their
sins, and the blessings because of God’s love and kindness.
    So that you may learn that this is the reason for the prophecy, hear what Isaiah, the
most eloquent of prophets, had to say to the Jewish people. “I know that you are stubborn
and that your neck is an iron sinew” (that is, unbending), “and your forehead bronze”
(that is, incapable of blushing).” We, too, make a practice of giving the name bronze-
faced to those who cannot blush. And Isaiah went on to say: “I foretold what things
would come upon you before they took place and I let you hear of them.” Then he added
the reason for the prophecy when he said: “So that you may never say: ‘My idols did
them, my statues and molten images commanded them.’”
    At another time some of the Jews who were quarrelsome and boastful and, even after
the prophecies were fulfilled, were acting as impudently as if they had never heard them.
Then the prophets not only foretold what would come to pass but even had witnesses of
what they were doing. Again it was Isaiah who said: “Make reliable men my witnesses,
Uriah the priest, and Zechariah, son of Jeberechiah.” And this was not all Isaiah did. He
set his prophecy down in writing in a new book so that, after his prophecy was fulfilled,
what he had written might bear witness against the Jews of what the inspired prophet
predicted to them a long time before. This is why he did not simply write it in a book, but
in a new book, a book capable of staying sturdy for a long time without easily falling
apart, a book which could last until the events described in it would come to pass.

                                            V
    I shall prove that this is true, and that God foretold everything which was going to
befall the Jews. I shall do so not only from what Isaiah said but from all the things which
happened to them, both good and bad. Indeed, the Jews three times endured bondage,
very harsh and most severe; but none of these came upon them unpredicted. God saw to it
that each captivity was prophesied. He carefully foretold the place, the duration, the kind,
the form of their misfortune, the return from slavery, and everything else.
    First, I shall speak of the prediction of their slavery in Egypt. Surely, in speaking to
Abraham, God said: “Know for certain that your posterity will be strangers in a land not
their own; they shall be subjected to slavery and shall be oppressed four hundred years.
But I will judge that nation which they shall serve, said God. And in the fourth generation
they shall return here with great possessions.” Do you see how he mentioned the number
of years? Four hundred. The nature of their slavery? He did not simply say: “They shall
be subjected to slavery,” but: “They shall be oppressed.” Listen to Moses’ explanation of
their misfortune. He said: “No straw is supplied to your servants, and still we are told to
make bricks.” And each day they were flogged so that you may learn the meaning of the
words: “They shall be subjected to slavery and shall be oppressed.” When He said: “I
will judge that nation which they shall serve,” He was speaking of the drowning of the
Egyptians in the Red Sea, which Moses described in his canticle when he said: “Horse
and chariot He has cast into the sea.” Then he also mentioned the manner of their return
when he said that they will return here with great possessions: “Each of you take from his
neighbor and comrade gold and silver vessels.” Since they had been subjected to slavery
a long time and had received no pay, God permitted them to make this demand of the
Egyptians even though their masters might be unwilling to pay. And the prophet
exclaimed and said: “And He led them forth laden with silver and gold, with not a
weakling among their tribes.” So here we have one bondage which was precisely
predicted.
    Come now and let us turn our discussion to the second captivity. What one is that?
The bondage in Babylon. Jeremiah certainly foretold it exactly when he said: “Thus says
the Lord: Only after seventy years have elapsed for Babylon will I visit you and fulfill for
you My promise to bring you back to this place. I shall change your bondage; I shall
gather you from all the nations and all the places to which I have banished you, says the
Lord, and bring you back to the place from which I have exiled you.” Do you see how
here again He spoke of the city, the number of years, and the places from which and to
which He was going to lead them?
    This explains why Daniel did not make his prayer for the Jews until he saw that the
seventy years had elapsed. Who says so? It was Daniel himself, when he said: “I, Daniel,
took care of the king’s affairs. But I was appalled at the vision, nor was there anyone to
understand it.” “And I understood in the Scriptures the counting of the years of which the
Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah: that for the ruins of Jerusalem seventy years must be
fulfilled. I turned to the Lord God, seeking to pray and entreat Him with fasting, sack-
cloth, and ashes.”
    Did you hear how this bondage was foretold and how the prophet did not dare to bring
his prayer and entreaty to God before the appointed time? He feared that his prayer might
be rash and in vain. He was afraid he would hear what Jeremiah had heard: “Do not pray
for this His people, and do not make demand of Me for them for I shall not hear your
voice.” But when he saw that the sentence pronounced against them had been fulfilled
and that the time was summoning them to return, he did pray for them. And he did not
merely pray, he made his entreaty with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.
    The prophet acted toward God in a way quite common among men. When we see that
a master has cast his slaves into prison for many serious crimes, we do not make a plea
for them immediately, nor at the outset, nor at the beginning of their punishment. We let
them be punished for a few days; then we go to the master with our plea and we have
time working on our side. This is exactly what the prophet did. Although the penalty the
Jews paid was not as severe as their sins deserved, nonetheless they did pay it. And it was
only then that the prophet went to God to plead on their behalf.
    If you would like to hear it, let us listen to the prayer he made for them. He said: “I
confessed and said, ‘Lord great and awesome God, You Who keep Your covenant and
Your mercy toward those who love You and observe Your commandments!’” What are
you doing, Daniel? When you intercede for those who have sinned and quarreled with
God, are you talking about men who keep God’s laws? Do those who transgress His
commandments deserve pardon? What did Daniel say? “I am not making this prayer for
their sake but for the sake of their forefathers, for the sake of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The promise and pledge was made to those who kept God’s commandments. These men,
then, have no just claim to salvation; this is why I mention their forefathers.”
    Daniel was not speaking of the Jews in bondage when he said: “You Who keep Your
covenant and Your mercy toward those who love You and observe Your
commandments.” That is why he immediately added: “We have sinned, acted lawlessly,
done evil, and departed from Your commandments and Your laws. We have not obeyed
Your servants the prophets.” For there is one defense left to sinners after they have
sinned: to confess their sins.
    Do you now please consider the virtue of the just man and the arrogance of the Jews.
He who is conscious of no evil in himself pronounces a most severe judgment on himself
when he says: “We have sinned, acted lawlessly, done evil.” But those who were filled
with ten thousand evils did quite the opposite when they said: “We kept Your
commandments; and now we call strangers blessed and evildoers are exalted.” Just men
usually act modestly after they have done just deeds; the wicked generally exalt
themselves after they have sinned. The man who was conscious of no wickedness in
himself said: “We have acted lawlessly, we have departed from Your laws”; those who
are aware of the burden of ten thousand sins say: “We have kept your commandments.” I
tell you this so that we may shun the sinner and emulate the just.

                                            VI
   After he ran through their lawless acts, the prophet next spoke of the penalty they
paid, because he wanted to use this to win God over to pity them. For he said: “And there
came upon us the malediction recorded in the law of Moses, the servant of God, because
we sinned.” What is that malediction? Do you wish us to read it? “If you will not serve
the Lord your God, I shall lead forth against you a shameless nation, a nation whose
tongue you will not understand, and you will be few in number.” The three boys in
Babylon also made this same point clear when they showed that the kind of punishment
visited upon them came about because of what they had done. They made confession to
God for the sins of all Jews when they said: “You have handed us over to our enemies,
lawless and hateful rebels; to an unjust king, the worst in all the world.” Do you see how
God fulfilled the curse which said: “You will be few in number?” And the one which
said: “I shall lead forth against you a shameless nation?”
    This is the very thing which Daniel was hinting at when he said: “There came upon us
evils such as never occurred under heaven according to what happened in Israel.” What
evils were these? Mothers ate their own children. Moses foretold this, but Jeremiah
shows that it came true. For Moses said: “The refined and delicate woman, so delicate
and refined that she would not venture to put her foot upon the step, shall put her hand to
the unholy table and eat her own children.” But Jeremiah shows that this came true when
he said: “The hands of compassionate women boiled their own children.”
    But even after he had spoken of the sins of those who had sinned and after he brought
into the open the punishment they endured, he did not ask that this should save them. See,
then, the prudence of the servant. For after he had made clear that they had not yet paid
the penalty their sins deserved, nor had their sufferings discharged the debt for their
offenses, he then fled to the mercy of God and the loving-kindness of His way and says:
“And now, O Lord, our God, Who led your people out of the land of Egypt, and made a
name for yourself even to this day, we have sinned and acted against Your law.” What he
is saying is: “You did not save the Jews of old for their good actions but because You
saw their affliction and distress, because You heard their cry. In the same way, free us
from our present evils because of Your loving-kindness and because of that alone. We
have no other claim to salvation.”
    So he spoke and, after many a lament, he brought forward the city of Jerusalem, like a
captive woman, and said: “Let Your face shine upon Your sanctuary. Give ear, O my
God, and listen, open Your eyes and see our ruins and the ruins of Your city, in which
Your name is invoked.” For when he looked among the men and saw no man who could
make God propitious, he turned to the buildings and brought up the city. He showed its
desolation and, after he completed his discourse on these things, he made God propitious.
And this became clear from the events which followed.
    But back to what I was talking about. For I must return again to the topic I proposed.
Yet I had good reason for bringing in these digressions: I wanted to give your minds a
brief breathing space, since they were growing weary from the constant conflicts with the
Jews. But let me return to the point where I departed from my topic to speak of these
matters. Let me prove that the evils which were going to overtake the Jews had been
accurately predicted by God’s inspiration. My discourse had already shown that those
two captivities came upon the Jews neither by chance nor unexpectedly.
    It remains for me now to bring up the third captivity. After I have done that, I must
speak about the bondage which now encompasses them; I must give clear proof that no
prophet ever predicted that there would be any freedom or escape from the ills which
now encircle them.
    What, then, is this third captivity? It is the bondage that came upon them in the days of
Antiochus Epiphanes. After Alexander, king of the Macedonians, conquered the Persian
king, Darius, he took over the kingdom. After Alexander died, four kings followed him to
the throne. Antiochus was the son of one of Alexander’s four successors. Many years
later Antiochus burned the temple, laid waste the holy of holies, put an end to the
sacrifices, subjected the Jews, and destroyed their whole state.

                                           VII
    Daniel foretold all this with the greatest accuracy, even to the very day. He foretold
when it would be, how, by whom, the manner of it, where it would find an end, and what
change it would bring about. You will understand this better after you have heard the
vision which the prophet set forth in the form of a parable. The ram is Darius, the Persian
king; the goat is the Greek king, Alexander of Macedon; the four horns are Alexander’s
successors; the last horn is Antiochus himself. But it will be better for you to hear the
vision itself.
    Daniel said: “For I saw in a vision and I was sitting at the river Ubal.” (The spot in
question he calls by a Persian name.) “And I looked up and saw standing by the Ubal a
ram with his horns held high; and the one horn was higher than the other, and the high
one mounted to the very heights. And I saw the ram butting toward the sea, north, and
south. No beast will stand before it, nor was there anyone to rescue a beast from its grasp;
it did what it pleased and became very powerful. And as I sat, I understood.” He was
speaking of the Persian power and domain which overran the whole earth.
    Next he spoke of Alexander of Macedon and said: “Behold, a he-goat came from the
southwest across the whole earth without touching the ground. And the goat had a horn to
be seen midway between his eyes.” He then spoke of Alexander’s encounter with Darius
and the victory won by Macedonian might. “The goat came up to the horned ram, grew
savage, struck the ram,” - I must cut short the account – “broke both his horns and there
was no one to rescue the ram from his power.”
    After that Daniel spoke of Alexander’s death and the four kings who succeeded him:
“And at the height of its power the great horn was shattered, and in its place there came
up four others, facing the four winds of heaven.” Daniel then passed from this point to the
reign of Antiochus and showed that he came from one of those four when he said: “Out
of one of them came one strong horn, and it became very powerful toward the south and
the east.” Daniel then went on to show that Antiochus destroyed the Jewish com-
monwealth and way of life when he said: “And through him the sacrifice was disordered
by transgression; and it came to pass that he prospered. And the holy place will be laid
waste and sin replaced the sacrifice. After the altar was destroyed and the holy places
trampled underfoot, he set up an idol within and offered unlawful sacrifices to the
demons; righteousness was cast to the ground. He both did this and prospered.”
    Then again, for a second time, he spoke of the same reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, the
bondage, and the capture and desolation of the temple; this time, however, he gave the
date of these events. He again began, toward the end of the book, with the empire of
Alexander and described all the intervening accomplishments of the Seleucids and the
Ptolemies in their wars against each other, the exploits of their generals, the strategems,
the victories, the armies, the battles fought on land and sea. When he came to Antiochus
he ended by saying: “His armed forces shall rise up, defile the sanctuary, and remove the
continuity” (and by the continuity he meant the uninterrupted daily sacrifices) “and in its
place they will put an abomination. By treachery they will lead off those who violate the
covenant” (that is, the transgressors among the Jews whom they will remove and keep
with themselves); “but the people who know their God shall take strong action” (he
means the events in the time of the Maccabees: Judas, Simon, and John). “And the wise
men of the people will have understanding of many things but they will fall by the sword
and by fire” (here again he describes the burning of Jerusalem) “and by exile and the
plunder days. And when they fall, they will receive a little help” (he means that, in the
midst of those evils, they will be able to draw a breath and rise from the dread things
which have overtaken them), “but many will join them out of treachery. And they shall
fall from the number of the wise.” He said this to show that even many of those who
stood firm will fall.
    Next, Daniel gave the reason why God permitted them to be involved in such trials.
What is the reason? “To purge them, to choose them, and to make them white until the
time of the end.” This is why, said Daniel, God permitted these evils so as to cleanse
them and to show who among them was genuine and approved. In telling of the same
king’s power and might, he said: “He shall do as he pleases, he shall exalt himself and
become very powerful.” In speaking of the king’s blasphemous spirit, he went on to say:
“He shall utter excessive haughty thoughts against the God of gods; he shall prosper until
the wrath be accomplished.” Daniel was here making it clear that it was not of Antiochus’
own will but because of God’s wrath against the Jews that he was so victorious.
    After Daniel told in many other passages what evils the king would bring on Egypt
and Palestine, how he would return, at whose bidding, and under the pressure of what
cause, the prophet then recounted a change of fortune and said that, after enduring all
these evils, the Jews would find some aid from an angel sent to help them. “At that time
there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian over the sons of your people. It shall
be a time unsurpassed in distress since nations began on earth until that time. At that time
your people will escape, everyone who is found written in the book.” By that he meant
those deserving to be saved.

                                            VIII
    But I have not yet given a proof for the question I am investigating. What is that
question? That God set a time limit for those involved in these trials, just as He set a limit
of four hundred years for the exile in Egypt and seventy years for the bondage in
Babylon. Let us see, then, if He set any time limit for this third slavery. Where can we
find the answer to this? In what Daniel said in the verses following those I discussed.
    Since he had heard of the many great evils which would befall the Jews - the burning
of Jerusalem, the toppling of their state, the bondage of his people - he then wanted to
learn what would be the end of these trials, and if there would be any change in their
disastrous condition. So he asked the angel who had appeared to him and said: “Lord,
what is to be the outcome of this?” “Come here, Daniel,” he said, “because the words are
to be kept secret and sealed” (indicating the obscurity of the words) “until the time of the
end.” Then the angel mentioned the reason why God consented to these evils: “As long as
many are chosen, made white, and purged, as long as the lawless act lawlessly, as long as
all the unholy ones shall not understand and the holy ones do understand.”
    Next, in predicting the length of time these evils would last, Daniel’s angel said:
“From the time of the changing of the continuity.” The daily sacrifice was called the
continuity, for what is continuous is frequent and unceasing. And among the Jews it was
customary to offer sacrifice to God in the evening and about dawn each day; this is why
they called that daily sacrifice a continuity.
    But when Antiochus came, he completely did away with this practice. That is what the
angel meant when he said: “From the time of the changing of the continuity” (that is,
from the time the sacrifice was abolished) “there shall be one thousand two hundred and
ninety days,” that is, three and a half years and a little more. Then to show that there will
be an end and deliverance from these woes, the angel went on to say: “Blessed is the man
who stands firm and attains one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days,” adding
forty-five days to the one thousand and two hundred and ninety days. He did this because
it happened that the conflict lasted a month and a half and in that time the victory became
complete, as did also the deliverance of the Jews from the evils which weighed heavy
upon them. And when he said: “Blessed is the man who stands firm one thousand three
hundred and thirty-five days,” he revealed their deliverance. He did not simply say, “the
man who attains,” but “the man who stands firm and attains.” The reason for this is that
many of the unholy ones saw the change, but he does not call them happy; he calls
blessed only those who gave witness during the time of troubles, who did not desert their
religion, and who then found abatement of their ills. This is why he did not simply say:
“the man who attains,” but “the man who stands firm and attains.”
    What could be clearer than this? Do you see how very carefully the prophet foretold
their captivity and release from bondage? He gave the time not in terms of years, or
months, but to the very day. That you may know that my words are not based on mere
conjecture, come, let us bring in another witness to what I have said, a witness whom the
Jews regard with the highest trust, I mean Josephus, who has made their disasters a
subject of tragic history and who has paraphrased the entire Old Testament. He was born
after Christ’s coming and, in speaking of the captivity predicted by Christ, he also
discussed this captivity and set forth Daniel’s vision about the ram, the goat, the four
horns, and the last horn which arose after the others. I do not wish anyone to be
suspicious of what I have said; come, then, and let us compare his words with mine.
    Josephus praised Daniel and showed exceedingly high admiration for him, setting him
above all the other prophets. When he came to the story of Daniel’s vision, he had this to
say. Daniel left us a book in which he made clear the accuracy and fidelity to truth of his
prophecy. For he tells us that after he and some companions had gone forth to a plain at
Susa, the metropolis of Persia, suddenly the earth quaked and shook violently. His friends
fled and he was left alone. He fell face down and was fixed fast to the spot leaning on
both hands. Then someone touched him and at the same time ordered him to get up and
see what would happen to his people after many generations.
    Daniel then arose and was shown a large ram with many horns growing from his head,
but the last horn was the highest. Then he looked to the west and saw a goat borne
through the air. The goat rushed at the ram, struck him twice with his horns, knocked him
to the ground, and trampled on him. Next he saw the goat grown larger and putting forth
a very large horn from his forehead. This horn was broken off, but four others grew up,
turned to the four winds. As Josephus told the story, Daniel saw a smaller horn rise up
from these and it grew strong. God, Who showed Daniel the vision, was telling him that
war would come upon his nation, that Jerusalem would be taken by storm, the temple
would be pillaged, the sacrifices would be hindered and cut short, and that this would last
for one thousand two hundred and ninety days.
   Daniel wrote that he had seen these events in the plain at Susa; he also made it clear
that God explained to him what he had seen in the vision. God said that the ram signified
the empire of the Persians and Medes, and the horns, those who would hold royal power.
He further said that the last horn signified that there would come a king who would
surpass those others in wealth and glory. God then explained that the goat would be a
ruler from among the Greeks who would twice clash with the Persian king, defeat him in
battle, and take over all his empire. The first large horn on the goat’s forehead signified
the first king. After this fell off, the growth of the four horns and the turning of each of
these to the four regions of the earth was a sign that, after the death of the first king, who
had neither sons nor family, his successors would divide the empire among them and
would rule the world for many years.
   And from these successors, the explanation continued, there would arise a king who
would make war on the Jewish laws, take away their form of government, pillage their
temple, and prevent their sacrifices from being offered for three years. And it did happen
that the nation of our fathers underwent these sufferings under Antiochus Epiphanes, just
as Daniel had seen many years before and had written would come to pass.

                                             IX
    What could be clearer than this? Now it is time, unless you think I am making you
weary, now it is time to come back to the question we proposed for investigation, namely,
the Jews’ present slavery and their bondage of today. This was the reason for going
through all their exiles. Pay careful heed to me, for our contest is not concerned with
ordinary, everyday matters. At the Olympic contests people have the patience to sit from
midnight to noon waiting to see who will win the crown; they take the hot rays of the sun
on their bare heads, and do not leave before the winners are decided. Our contest today is
not for an Olympic prize but for an incorruptible crown. It would be a shame, then, for us
to grow weary and give in to our fatigue.
    What I have said has sufficiently proved that the three captivities were predicted, the
first lasting for four hundred years, the second for seventy, and the third for three and a
half years. Now let us talk about the present bondage of the Jews. To show that the
prophet also predicted this one, I shall offer as my witness that same Josephus, who is on
the side of the Jews. Listen to what he says subsequent to his account of Daniel’s vision.
He said: “In the same manner Daniel also wrote about the empire of the Romans and that
they would capture Jerusalem and devastate the temple.”
    Please consider that even if the man who wrote that was a Jew, he did not, on that
account, let himself emulate the obstinacy of you Jews. After he said that Jerusalem
would be captured, he did not dare to go on to say that it would be rebuilt, nor to mention
a definite time for its restoration, because he knew that the prophet had not fixed a
definite time. Yet when Josephus spoke previously of the victory of Antiochus and his
devastation of Jerusalem, he did state how many days and years the captivity was going
to last. But Josephus said nothing of this sort about the bondage under the Romans. He
wrote that Jerusalem and the temple would be despoiled, but he did not add that what had
been devastated would be restored. For he saw that the prophet had not added anything
about such a restoration. Josephus did say: “All these things, as God revealed them to
him, Daniel left behind in his writings, so that those who read them and observe how they
have come to pass must wonder that Daniel was so honored by God.”
   But let us consider where it was that Daniel said that the temple would be despoiled.
After he had made his prayer in sackcloth and ashes, Gabriel came to him and said:
“Seventy weeks are cut short for your people and for your holy city.” “Look,” the Jews
will say, “he did mention the time.” Yes, but the time is not the time of the captivity;
what is mentioned is the length of time after which the captivity is going to come upon
them. It is one thing to speak of how long the captivity will last and another thing to state
the number of years before it will arrive and be upon them.
   We read: “Seventy weeks are cut short for your people”; no longer does God say: “for
my people.” And yet the prophet said: “Let your face shine upon your people,” but God
thereafter was estranged from them because of the bold crime they were going to commit.
Presently the prophet gave the reason: “Until transgression will stop and sin will end.”
What does he mean by the words: “Until sin will end?” What the prophet is saying is that
the Jews are committing many sins, but the end of their evil deeds will be the day they
slay their Master. Christ also said this: “Fill up the measure of your fathers.” “You killed
your servants,” he said. “Now add to that the blood of your Master.”
   See how the thoughts of Christ and Daniel agree, Christ said: “Fill up”; the prophet
says: “Until transgression will stop and sin will end.” What does “end” mean? That no sin
thereafter is left to commit. “And until everlasting justice will be introduced.” But what is
everlasting justice except the justification given by Christ? “And until the sealing of the
vision and the prophet and a holy of holies be anointed,” that is, until prophecies shall
cease. For this is what is meant by “to seal,” namely, to bring anointing to an end, to
bring vision to an end. This is why Christ said: “The law and the prophets until John.” Do
you see how this threatens utter desolation and the payment for sins and acts of injustice?
For God did not threaten that He will forgive the sins of the Jews but that He will execute
vengeance upon them.

                                             X
   And when did this happen? When were prophecies completely done away with? When
was anointing ended so as never again to return? Even if we be silent, the stones will
shout out, because the voice of the facts is so clear. For we could not mention a time at
which these predictions were accomplished other than the long and many years already
past and the years which are going to be longer and more numerous still. Daniel put it
more precisely when he said: “And you will know and understand that from the going
forth of the word of the answer that Jerusalem was to be rebuilt until the coming of an
anointed leader, there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks.”
   Pay careful attention to me here, because here lies the whole question. The seven
weeks and the sixty-two weeks make four hundred and eighty-three years, for he is here
speaking not of weeks of days or months but weeks of years. From Cyrus to Antiochus
Epiphanes and the captivity there were three hundred and ninety-four years. However,
Daniel makes it clear that he is not talking about the destruction of the temple under
Antiochus but the subsequent destruction under Pompey, Vespasian, and Titus. He fur-
ther extends the time and instructs us from what point we must start counting by showing
us that our reckoning is not to start from the day of the return from captivity. From what
point must we reckon? “From the going forth of the word of the answer that Jerusalem
was to be rebuilt.”
    Jerusalem, however, was not rebuilt under Cyrus but under Artaxerxes, who was
called the Long-handed. For after the return of the Jews, Cambyses was ruler, then the
Magians, and after them Darius Hystaspes. Next came Darius’ son, Xerxes, and after him
Artabanus. After Artabanus, Artaxerxes the Long-handed, ruled Persia. During the
twentieth year of his kingship Nehemiah returned and restored Jerusalem. Ezra has given
us an exact account of this. So then, if we count four hundred and eighty-three years from
this point, we will surely come to the time of the last destruction. And so it is that the
prophet said: “It shall be rebuilt with streets and a surrounding wall.” Therefore what he
says is this: after the city has been rebuilt and has recovered its own appearance and
form, count the seventy weeks from that point and you will see the slavery which has not
yet come to an end.
    To make still more clear this very point, namely, that the evils which now grip the
Jews will not come to an end, he goes on to say: “After the seventy weeks the anointing
will be utterly destroyed and there will be no judgment on it; he will destroy the city and
the sanctuary with the help of a leader who comes and they will be cut off as in a deluge.”
There will be no remnant left, nor a root to grow up again, “until the end of a war which
is brought to an end by the vanishing of the people.”
    And again, in speaking of this slavery, he said: “The incense and the oblation will be
abolished and, furthermore, on the holy place will be the abomination of desolation: and
accomplishment shall be given to the desolation until the end of time.” When you hear
him say: “Until the end of time,” what else is left for you Jews to look forward to? “And
furthermore.” What does this mean? “Furthermore,” that is, in addition to what he has
said, that is, in addition to the destruction of the sacrifice and the oblation, there will be
some other greater evil. What is that evil? “On the holy place will be the abomination of
desolation.” By the holy place he means the temple; by the abomination of desolation he
means the statue set up in the temple by Antiochus, who destroyed the city.
    And he went on to say: “Desolation until the end.” It is true that Christ came into the
world according to the flesh long after the day of Antiochus Epiphanes, but when He
prophesied the captivity to come, He showed that Daniel had predicted it. This was His
reason for saying: “When you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of by
Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place - let him who reads understand.” The Jews
called every image and statue made by man an abomination. So by His veiled reference
to that statue, Daniel showed both when and under whom the captivity would take place.
As I showed before, Josephus also assured us that these words were spoken about the
Romans.
    What is there for me to say to you now that has not already been said? When the
prophets predicted the other captivities, they spoke not only of the captivity but also of
the length of time it was appointed for each bondage to last; for this present captivity,
however, they set no time but, to the contrary, said that the desolation would endure until
the end. And to prove that what they said is true, come now and let me offer as witnesses
the events themselves. If the Jews had never attempted to rebuild the temple, they could
say: “If we had wished to set our hands to the task and to begin to rebuild it, we could by
all means have completed the task.” But now I shall show that not once, nor twice, but
three times they did attempt it and three times, like wrestlers in the Olympic games, they
were thrown to the ground. Therefore there can be no dispute or question but that the
Church has won the victory crown.

                                             XI
    Yet what kind of men were they who set their hands to the task? They were men who
constantly resisted the Holy Spirit, revolutionists bent on stirring up sedition. After the
destruction which occurred under Vespasian and Titus, these Jews rebelled during the
reign of Hadrian and tried to go back to the old commonwealth and way of life. What
they failed to realize was that they were fighting against the decree of God, Who had
ordered that Jerusalem remain forever in ruins.
    But it is impossible for a man to wage war on God and win. So it was that, when these
Jews made their attack against the Emperor, they forced him again to destroy Jerusalem
completely. For Hadrian came and utterly subdued them; he obliterated every remnant of
their city. To prevent the Jews from making such an impudent attempt in the future, he
set up a statue of himself. But he realized that, with the passage of time, his statue would
one day fall. So he gave his own name to the ruined city and, in this way, burned on the
Jews a permanent brand which would mark their defeat and testify to the impudence of
their revolt. Since he was called Aelius Hadrianus, he ordained that from this name the
City was to be called Aelia and to this day it is called by the name of the Emperor who
conquered it and destroyed it.
    Do you see the first attempt of the impudent Jews? Now look at the next. They tried
the same thing in the time of Constantine. But the Emperor saw what they tried to do, cut
off their ears, and left on their bodies this mark of their disobedience. He then had them
led around everywhere, like runaway slaves and scoundrels, so all might see their
mutilated bodies and always think twice before ever attempting such a revolt. “Yet these
things happened very long ago,” the Jews will say. But I tell you that the incident is well
known to those of us who are somewhat on in years and are already old men.
    But what I am going to tell you is clear and obvious even to the very young. For it did
not happen in the time of Hadrian or Constantine, but during our own lifetime, in the
reign of the Emperor of twenty years ago. Julian, who surpassed all the emperors in
irreligion, invited the Jews to sacrifice to idols in an attempt to drag them to his own level
of ungodliness. He used their old way of sacrifice as an excuse and said: “In the days of
your ancestors, God was worshipped in this way.”
    They refused his invitation, but, at that time, they did admit to the very things I just
lately proved to you, namely, that they were not allowed to offer their sacrifices outside
Jerusalem. Their answer was that those who offered any sacrifice whatsoever in a foreign
land were violating the Law. So they said to the Emperor: “If you wish to see us offer
sacrifices, give us back Jerusalem, rebuild the temple, show us the holy of holies, restore
the altar, and we will offer sacrifices again just as we did before.”
    These abominable and shameless men had the impudence to ask these things from an
impious pagan and to invite him to rebuild their sanctuary with his polluted hands. They
failed to see that they were attempting the impossible. They did not realize that if human
hands had put an end to those things, then human hands could get them back for them.
But it was God Who destroyed their city, and no human power could ever change what
God had decreed. “For what God, the Holy One, has planned who shall dissipate? His
hand is stretched out; who will turn it back?” What God has reared up and wishes to
remain, no man can tear down. In the same way, what He has destroyed and wishes to
stay destroyed, no man can rebuild.
    I grant you that the Emperor did give you Jews back your temple and did build you an
altar, just as you foolishly suspected he would. But he could not send down to you the
heavenly fire from on high, could he? Yet if you could not have this fire, your sacrifice
had to be an abomination and unclean. This is why the sons of Aaron perished; they
brought in a foreign fire.
    Nonetheless, these Jews, who were blind to all things, called on the Emperor for help
and begged him to aid them in undertaking to rebuild the temple. The Emperor, for his
part, spared no expense, sent engineers from all over the empire to oversee the work,
summoned craftsmen from every land; he left nothing undone, nothing untried. He
overlooked nothing but worked quietly and a little at a time to bring the Jews to offer
sacrifice; in this way he expected that it would be easy for them to go from sacrifice to
the worship of idols. At the same time, in his mad folly, he was hoping to cancel out the
sentence passed by Christ which forbade the rebuilding of the temple. But He Who
catches the wise in their craftiness straightway made clear to him by His action that the
decrees of God are mightier than any man’s and that works get their strength from the
word of God.
    They started to work in earnest on that forbidden task, they removed a great mound of
earth and began to lay bare the foundations. They were just about to start building when
suddenly fire leaped forth from the foundations and completely consumed not only a
great number of the workmen but even the stones piled up there to support the structure.
This put a stop to the untimely obstinacy of those who had undertaken the project. Many
of the Jews, too, who had seen what had happened, were astonished and struck with
shame. The Emperor Julian had been madly eager to finish the work. But when he heard
what had happened, he was afraid that, if he went on with it, he might call down the fire
on his own head. So he and the whole Jewish people withdrew in defeat.
    Even today, if you go into Jerusalem, you will see the bare foundation; if you ask why
this is so, you will hear no explanation other than the one I gave. We are all witnesses to
this, for it happened not long ago but in our own time. Consider how conspicuous our
victory is. This did not happen in the times of the good emperors; no one can say that the
Christians came and prevented the work from being finished. It happened at a time when
our religion was subject to persecution, when all our lives were in danger, when every
man was afraid to speak, when paganism flourished. Some of the faithful hid in their
homes, others fled the marketplaces and moved to the deserts. That is when these events
occurred. So the Jews have no excuse left to them for their impudence.

                                           XII
   Are you Jews still disputing the question? Do you not see that you are condemned by
the testimony of what Christ and the prophets predicted and which the facts have proved?
But why should this surprise me? That is the kind of people you are. From the beginning
you have been shameless and obstinate, ready to fight at all times against obvious facts.
   Do you wish me to bring forward against you other prophets who clearly state the
same fact, namely, that your religion will come to an end, that ours will flourish and
spread the message of Christ to every corner of the world, that a different kind of
sacrifice will be introduced which will put an end to yours? At least listen to Malachi
who came later than the other prophets. Let me not at this time bring in the testimony of
Isaiah and Jeremiah or the other prophets who came before the captivity. I do not want
you Jews to say that their predictions came true during the bondage. Let me bring for-
ward a prophet who came after the return from Babylon and after the restoration of
Jerusalem, a prophet who clearly predicted what was to happen to you.
    The Jews did return from Babylon, they did recover their city, they did rebuild their
temple, and they did offer sacrifices. But it was only after all this that Malachi predicted
the coming of the present desolation and the abolition of the Jewish sacrifices. This is
what he said, speaking in God’s behalf: “Shall I for your sakes accept your persons? says
the Lord Almighty. For from the rising of the sun, even to its setting, My name is
glorified among the nations; and everywhere they bring incense to My name, and a pure
offering. But you have profaned it.”
    When do you Jews think that this happened? When was incense offered to God in
every place? When a pure offering? You could not mention a time other than the time
after the coming of Christ. Suppose Malachi did not speak of our time, suppose he did not
speak of our sacrifice but of the Jewish sacrifice. Then his prophecy will be opposed to
the Law. Moses had forbidden the Jews to bring their sacrifice to any place other than
that which the Lord God would choose, and then he confined their sacrifices to one
particular place. If Malachi said that sacrifices were going to be offered everywhere and
that it would be a pure offering, he was contradicting and opposing what Moses had said.
    But there is no contradiction nor quarrel. For Moses spoke about one kind of sacrifice,
and Malachi later predicted another. What makes this clear? It is clear both from the
prophet’s words and also from many other indications. The first indication has to do with
the place. For Malachi predicted that the sacrifice would be offered not in one city, as in
the time of the Jewish sacrifice, but “from the rising of the sun even to its setting.” The
second indication has to do with the kind of sacrifice. By calling it “a pure offering,” he
showed the kind of sacrifice of which he spoke.
    A further indication deals with those who are going to offer this sacrifice. He did not
say “in Israel,” but “among the nations.” He did not want you to think that the worship
given in this sacrifice would be confined to one, two, or three cities; therefore, he did not
simply say “everywhere,” but from the rising of the sun, even to its setting. By these
words he showed that every corner of the earth seen by the sun will receive the message
of the gospel. He called it a “pure offering,” as opposed to the old sacrifice, which was
impure. And it was not by its own nature but because of the disposition and intention of
those who offered it. This is why the Lord said: “Your incense is loathsome to me.”
    And yet, in other respects, if you should put the two sacrifices side by side to compare
them, you will find that the difference between them is so great and unmeasurable that,
according to the nature of comparison, only this new sacrifice is properly called pure.
Paul contrasted the old Law with the new Law of grace and said that the old Law had
been glorified but is now without glory, because of the surpassing glory of the new Law.
I, too, would make so bold as to say in this case that, if the new sacrifice should be
compared to the old, only this new sacrifice would properly be called pure. For it is not
offered by smoke and fat, nor by blood and the price of ransom, but by the grace of the
Spirit.
   Now hear another prophet who made the same prediction and said that the worship of
God would not be confined to one place, but that the time would come when all men
would know Him. It is Zephaniah who said: “The Lord shall appear to all nations, and
will make all the gods of the nations waste away; then each from its own place shall
adore Him.” Yet this was forbidden to the Jews since Moses commanded them to
worship in one place.
   You hear that the prophets foretold and predicted that men will no longer be bound to
come from all over the earth to offer sacrifice in one city or in one place, but that each
one will sit in his own home and pay service and honor to God. What time other than the
present could you mention as fulfilling these prophecies? At any rate listen to how the
gospels and the Apostle Paul agree with Zephaniah. The prophet said: “The Lord shall
appear”; Paul said: “The grace of God our Savior has appeared to all men instructing us.”
Zephaniah said: “To all nations”; Paul said: “To all men.” Zephaniah said: “He will make
their gods waste away;” Paul said: “Instructing us, in order that rejecting ungodliness and
worldly lusts, we may live temperately and justly.”
   Again, Christ said to the Samaritan woman: “'Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming
when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. God is
spirit, and they who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” When Christ said
this, He removed from us for the future the obligation to observe one place of worship
and introduced a more lofty and spiritual way of worship.
   These arguments would suffice to establish that, for the future, there will be no
sacrifice, no priesthood, no king among the Jews. Above all, the destruction of the city
has proved all these points. But I could also bring forward the prophets as my witnesses,
and they distinctly said the same thing. But I see that you have become weary with the
length of my discourse; I am afraid that you may think I am foolish and rash to keep
annoying you. For this reason I promise that I will speak to you on this same subject at
another time.
   Meanwhile, I ask you to rescue your brothers, to set them free from their error, and to
bring them back to the truth. There is no benefit in listening to me unless the example of
your deeds will match my words. What I said was not for your sakes but for the sake of
those who are sick. I want them to learn these facts from you and to free themselves from
their wicked association with the Jews. I want them then to show themselves sincere and
genuine Christians. I want them to shun the evil gatherings of the Jews and their
synagogues, both in the city and in the suburbs, because these are robbers’ dens and
dwellings of demons.
   So then, do not neglect the salvation of those brothers. Be meddlesome, be
busybodies, but bring the sick ones to Christ. In this way, we shall receive a far greater
reward for our good deeds both in the present life and in the life to come. And we shall
receive it by the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom and
with Whom be glory to the Father together with the Holy Spirit, the Giver of life, now
and forever, world without end.

Amen.
                                      Homily VI
Although he had delivered a long homily against the Jews on the previous
day, and had become hoarse from the length of his sermon, he now delivered
the following discourse.

                                             I
    Wild beasts are less savage and fierce as long as they live in the forests and have had
no experience fighting against men. But when the hunters capture them, they drag them
into the cities, lock them in cages, and goad them on to do battle with beast-fighting
gladiators. Then the beasts spring upon their prey, taste human flesh and drink human
blood. After that, they would find it no easy task to keep away from such a feast but they
avidly rush to this bloody banquet.
    This has been my experience, too. Once I took up my fight against the Jews and
rushed to meet their shameless assaults, “I destroyed their reasoning and every lofty thing
that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and I brought their minds into captivity to
the obedience of Christ.” And after that I somehow acquired a stronger yearning to do
battle against them.
    But what is the matter with me? You see that my voice has grown weaker and cannot
again last for so long a time. I think that what has happened to me is much the same as
what happens to a soldier in battle. He cuts to pieces a number of his foes, courageously
throws himself against the enemy lines, strews the ground with corpses, but then breaks
his sword; disheartened by this mishap he must retreat to his own ranks. Indeed, what has
happened to me is worse. The soldier who has broken his sword can snatch another from
some bystander, prove his courage, and show how eager he is for victory. But when the
voice becomes weak and exhausted, you cannot borrow another from somebody else.
    What shall I do, then? Shall I, too, run away? The power your loving assembly holds
over me does not let me run away. I reverence and respect our father, who is here. I
reverence and respect your eagerness and earnestness. Therefore, I shall entrust the
whole undertaking to his prayers and your charity and I will attempt what lies beyond my
power.
    It is true that today’s feast of the martyrs invites me to recount the conflicts they
underwent. If I neglect this topic, if I strip and get ready to enter the arena against the
Jews, let no one accuse me of choosing the wrong time for my discourse. The martyrs
would find a discourse against the Jews more desirable than any panegyric of mine, since
I could never make them more illustrious than they are.
     What need could they have of my tongue? Their own struggles surpass our mortal
nature. The prizes they won go beyond our powers and understanding. They laughed at
the life lived on earth; they trampled underfoot the punishment of the rack; they scorned
death and took wing to heaven; they escaped from the storms of temporal things and
sailed into a calm harbor; they brought with them no gold or silver or expensive
garments; they carried along no treasure which could be plundered, but the riches of
patience, courage, and love. Now they belong to Paul’s choral band while they still await
their crowns, but they find delight in the expectation of their crowns, because they have
escaped henceforth the uncertainty of the future.
    What need could they have of any words of mine? Therefore, they will find this topic
more desirable than any panegyric of mine which, as I said before, will bring no increase
to their personal glory. But it could be that they will derive great pleasure from my
conflict with the Jews; they might well listen most intently to a discourse given for God’s
glory. For the martyrs have a special hatred for the Jews since the Jews crucified Him for
Whom they have a special love. The Jews said: “His blood be on us and on our children”;
the martyrs poured out their own blood for Him Whom the Jews had slain. So the martyrs
would be glad to hear this discourse.

                                             II
   If the present captivity of the Jews were going to come to an end, the prophets would
not have remained silent on this but would have foretold it. I gave adequate proof of this
when I showed that all their bond ages were brought upon them after they had been
predicted: the bondage in Egypt, the bondage in Babylon, and the bondage in the time of
Antiochus Epiphanes. I proved that for each of these the Sacred Scriptures had
proclaimed beforehand both a time and a place. But no prophet defined a duration for the
present bondage, although Daniel did predict that it would come, that it would bring total
desolation, that it would change their old commonwealth and way of life, and how long
after the return from Babylon it would come to pass.
   But Daniel did not reveal that it would come to an end nor that these troubles would
ever stop. Nor did any other prophet. Daniel did, however, predict the opposite, namely,
that this bondage would hold them in slavery until the end of time. The great number of
years which have come and gone since that day are witnesses to the truth of what he said.
And the years have shown neither trace nor beginning of a change for the better, even
though the Jews tried many times to rebuild their temple. Not once, not twice, but three
times they tried. They tried in the time of Hadrian, in the time of Constantine, and in the
time of Julian. But each time they tried they were stopped. The first two times they were
stopped by military force; later it was by the fire which leaped forth from the foundations
and restrained them from their untimely obstinancy.
   Now I would be glad to ask them a few questions. Why, tell me, did you recover your
own country after spending so many years in Egypt? And after you had been again
dragged away into Babylon, why did you come back to Jerusalem? Again, in the time of
Antiochus, you suffered many evils, but you came back to your old state, you again
recovered your sacrifices, your altar, your holy of holies, and all the rest, along with the
dignity these things once had. But nothing such as this has happened in your present
bondage. One hundred, two hundred, three hundred, four hundred years and many more
than that have passed. This is the five hundredth year up to our own day, but we see no
hint of such a change for the better on the horizon. What we do see is that the Jewish
fortunes have completely collapsed; they do not even have a dream to show they might
have any expectation such as they had in their former captivities.
   Suppose the Jews should plead their sins as an excuse. Suppose they should say: “We
sinned against God and offended Him. This is the reason why we are not recovering our
homeland. We did treat shamelessly the prophets who never ceased to accuse us, we did
deny the blood-guilt of which the prophets spoke in tragic phrases, but we will now
confess and condemn ourselves for our own sins.” If the Jews should plead this excuse, I
will be glad to question each one of them again.
   Is it because of your sins that you Jews have been living for so long a time outside
Jerusalem? What is strange and unusual about that? It is not only now that your people
are living sinful lives. Did you, in the beginning, live your lives in justice and good
deeds? Is it not true that from the beginning and long before today you lived with
countless transgressions of the Law? Did not the prophet Ezechiel accuse you ten
thousand times when he brought in the two harlots, Oholah and Oholibah, and said “You
built a brothel in Egypt; you passionately loved barbarians, and you worshipped strange
gods.”
   What about this? After the waters of the sea were divided, after the rocks were broken
asunder, after so many miracles were worked in the desert, did you not worship the calf?
Did you not try many times to kill Moses, now by stoning him, now by driving him into
exile, and in ten thousand other ways? Did you ever stop hurling blasphemies at God?
Were you not initiated in the rites of Baal, of Peor? Did you not sacrifice your sons and
daughters to demons? Did you not make a display of every form of ungodliness and sin?
   Did not the prophet, speaking in behalf of God, say to you: “Forty years I was
offended with that generation, and I said: ‘These always err in heart.’” How was it, then,
that at that time God did not turn Himself away from you? How is it that after you slew
your children, after your idolatries, after your many acts of arrogance, after your
unspeakable ingratitude, that God even allowed the great Moses to be a prophet among
you and that he worked wondrous and marvellous signs himself? What happened in the
case of no human being did happen to you. A cloud was stretched over you in place of a
roof; a pillar instead of a lamp served to guide you; your enemies retreated of their own
accord; cities were captured almost at the first battle-shout. You had no need of weapons,
no need of an army in array, no need to do battle. You had only to sound your trumpets
and the walls came tumbling down of their own accord. And you had a strange and
marvellous food which the prophet spoke of when he exclaimed: “He gave them the
bread of heaven. Man ate the bread of angels: He sent them provisions in abundance.”
   Tell me this. In those days you were guilty of ungodliness, you worshipped idols, you
slew your children, you stoned the prophets, and you did ten thousand dreadful deeds.
Why, then, did you enjoy such great kindness and good will from Him? Why did He offer
you such protection at that time? Now you do not worship idols, you do not slay your
children, you do not stone the prophets. Why are you now spending your lives in endless
captivity? God was not one kind of God then and a different kind now, was He? Is it not
the same God Who governed those past events and Who brings to pass what goes on
today? Tell me this. Why did you have great honor from God when your sins were
greater? Now that your sins are less serious, He has turned Himself altogether away from
you and has given you over to unending disgrace.
    If He turns away from you now because of your sins, He should have done so all the
more in those days. If He put up with you when you were living lives of ungodliness, He
ought to put up with you all the more now that you venture no such enormities. Why,
then, has He not put up with you? Even if you are too ashamed to give the reason, I will
state it clearly. Rather, I will not state it, but the truth of the facts will do so.
   You did slay Christ, you did lift violent hands against the Master, you did spill His
precious blood. This is why you have no chance for atonement, excuse, or defense. In the
old days your reckless deeds were aimed against His servants, against Moses, Isaiah, and
Jeremiah. Even if there was ungodliness in your acts then, your boldness had not yet
dared the crowning crime. But now you have put all the sins of your fathers into the
shade. Your mad rage against Christ, the Anointed One, left no way for anyone to surpass
your sin. This is why the penalty you now pay is greater than that paid by your fathers. If
this is not the reason for your present disgrace, why is it that God put up with you in the
old days when you sacrificed your children to idols, but turns Himself away from you
now when you are not so bold as to commit such a crime? Is it not clear that you dared a
deed much worse and much greater than any sacrifice of children or transgression of the
Law when you slew Christ?

                                            III
    Tell me this. Will you still dare to call Him an imposter and lawbreaker? Will you not
instead go off and bury yourselves somewhere, when you look the facts in the face, since
their truth is so obvious? If Jesus were an imposter and lawbreaker, as you say He was,
you should have been held in high honor for putting Him to death. Phinehas slew a man
and put an end to all God’s wrath against the people. The Psalmist said: “Then Phinehas
stood up and propitiated Him and the slaughter stopped.” He rescued a great many
ungodly men from the wrath of God by slaying a single lawbreaker. This should have
happened all the more in your case, if indeed the man you crucified was a transgressor of
the Law.
    Phinehas, then, was held guiltless after he slew a lawbreaker; indeed, he was honored
with the priesthood? But after you crucified an Imposter, as you say, Who made Himself
equal to God, you did not receive esteem nor were you held in honor. Instead you
suffered a more grievous punishment than you did when you sacrificed your children to
idols. Why is this so? Is it not clear even to the dullest minds? You committed outrage on
Him Who saved and rules the world; now you are enduring this great punishment. Is this
not the reason?
    Yet even today you abstain from blood which would defile you and you observe the
Sabbath. But at the time you slew Christ, you violated the Sabbath. God even promised,
through Jeremiah, to spare your city if you would stop carrying burdens on the Sabbath.
Look, you are observing this law now; you are not carrying burdens on the Sabbath. But
God is not reconciled to you on this account. Since that sin of yours surpassed all sins, it
is useless to say your sins are keeping you from recovering your homeland. You are in
the grip of your present sufferings not because of the sins committed in the rest of your
lives but because of that one reckless act. If this were not the case, God would not have
turned His back on you in such away, even if you had sinned ten thousand times. This is
clear not only from all I have already said but from what I am now going to tell you.
    What is this? Oftentimes we have heard God speak to your fathers through the
prophets and say: “You deserve countless evils. But I do this for My name’s sake, that it
may not be profaned among the nations.” And again: “It is not for your sakes that I do
this, O house of Israel, but for My name’s sake.” What God is saying is this: “You
deserved heavier vengeance and punishment. But so that no one may say that God let the
Jews stay in the power of their enemies because God was weak and unable to save them,
I am helping you and protecting you.”
    Suppose Christ were a lawbreaker and you crucified Him; suppose you had committed
countless sins and much worse ones than the sins of your fathers. God would still have
saved you to keep His name from being profaned. If Christ were a lawbreaker, God
would not have let Him be considered a great man, God would not want people putting
the blame on Christ for your misfortunes. If God clearly overlooks your sins for His
glory’s sake, He would have done so all the more if you crucified a lawbreaker. He would
have approved of this slaughter and would have blotted out your sins, many as they are.
But when God clearly and completely turns Himself from you, it is obvious that, by His
anger and by abandoning you forever, He is proving even to the most shameless that He
Who was slain was not a lawbreaker, but the Lawgiver Who has come as the Author of
countless blessings. You acted outrageously against Him and you are now held in
indignity and dishonor. We worship Him and, even though heretofore we were held in
greater dishonor than all of you, now, through the grace of God, we are more venerable
than all of you and are held in higher esteem.
   But the Jews will say: “Where is the evidence that God has turned away from us?”
Does this still need proof in words? Tell me this. Do not the facts themselves shout it out?
Do they not send forth a sound clearer than the trumpet’s call? Do you still ask for proof
in words when you see the destruction of your city, the desolation of your temple, and all
the other misfortunes which have come upon you? “But men brought these things upon
us, not God.” Rather it was God above all others Who did these things. If you attribute
them to men, then you must consider that, even if men were to have the boldness, they
would not have had the power to bring these things to accomplishment, unless it were by
God’s decree.
   The barbarian came down upon you and brought all Persia with him. He expected that
he would catch you all by the suddenness of his attack and he kept you all locked up in
the city as if you were caught in the net of a hunter or fisherman. Because God was
gracious to you at that time - I repeat, at that time without a battle, without a war, without
a hostile encounter, the barbarian king left one hundred and eighty-five thousand of his
slain soldiers among you and fled, contented that he alone was saved. And God often
decided countless other battles in this way. So also now, if God had not deserted you
once and for all, your enemies would not have had the power to destroy your city and
leave your temple desolate. If God had not abandoned you, the ruin of desolation would
not have lasted so long a time, nor would your frequent efforts to rebuild the temple have
been in vain.

                                             IV
   These are not my only arguments. I shall use other sources as well in my efforts to
prevail upon you to agree that it was not by their own power that the Roman emperors
did what they did. They did what they did because God was angry with the Jews and had
abandoned them. If the things that happened were the work of men, your misfortunes
should have ended with the capture of Jerusalem and your disgrace should not have gone
beyond it. Let me grant, according to your argument, that men demolished the walls,
destroyed the city, and overturned the altar. Was it the work of men that you have no
more prophets? Men did not take away the grace of the Spirit, did they? Did men destroy
the other things you held solemn, such as the voice from the propitiatory, the power
which came in the anointing, the declaration made by the priest from the stones?
   The Jewish religious way of life did not have all its origins from here below; the
greater number and the more solemn things came from heaven above. For example, God
permitted the sacrifices. The altar was from here below as were the faggots, the knife, and
the priest. But the fire which was going to enter the sanctuary and consume the sacrifices
had its source from on high; no man carried the fire into the temple, but a flame came
down from above and by this the ministry for the sacrifice was fulfilled.
    And, again, if they ever had to know something, a voice came forth from the
propitiatory, or mercy-seat, from between the cherubim, and foretold the future. Again
from the stones which were on the breast of the high priest, which they called the
declaration, there came a sort of flashing which indicated the future. Furthermore,
whenever someone had to be chosen and anointed, the grace of the Spirit would wing its
way down and the oil would run on the forehead of the elect. Prophets fulfilled these
ministries. And many a time a cloud of smoke obscured the sanctuary. To keep the Jews
from continuing their shameless ways and attributing their desolation to men, God not
only permitted the city to fall and the temple to be destroyed but He also removed the
things which had their source from heaven above: the fire, the voice, the flashing of the
stones, and all other such things.
    The Jews will tell you: “Men waged war on us; men plotted against us.” When they
say this, tell them that men would certainly not have waged war against them unless God
had permitted it. Granted that men tore down your walls. Did a man keep the fire from
coming down from heaven? Did a man stop the Voice which was continually heard from
the propitiatory? Did a man stop the declaration from the stones? Did a man put an end to
the anointing of your priests? Did a man take away all those other things? Was it not God
Who withdrew them? Surely, this is clear to everybody. Why, then, did God take them
away? Is it not obvious that He hated you and turned His back on you once and for all?
The Jews will say: “By no means! The reason why we do not have these is because we do
not have our mother-city.” But why do you not have your mother-city? Is it not because
God has abandoned you?
    Let us, rather, stop their shameless mouths with still more proof. To do this, let me
prove from the Scriptures themselves that the destruction of the temple was not the
reason for destroying the ritual given to the prophets. The real reason was the wrath of
God. And He is much more provoked to anger now, because of the Jews’ mad rage
against Christ, than He was when they worshipped the calf. Surely, when Moses was
their prophet, there was neither temple nor altar. Even though they kept committing
countless acts of ungodliness, his gift of prophecy did not desert him. To be sure, he was
a great and noble man, but, in addition to him, there were again seventy other men who,
at that time, were proclaimed as prophets.
    This was true not only in Moses’ day but also thereafter, when they had been given a
temple and the rest of the ritual. Even after this temple was burned and they all had been
led off to Babylon, Ezechiel and Daniel saw no holy of holies, stood beside no altar. But
even though they were in the middle of a barbarian land and in the midst of unclean
transgressors of the Law, they were filled with the Spirit and foretold the future,
predicting events far more numerous and marvellous than those prophesied by their
predecessors. And they saw divine visions insofar as it was possible for them to see.
    Tell me this. Why is it that you have no prophets now? Is it not clear that it is because
God has turned His back on your religion? Why did He turn His back on you? It is again
obvious that He did so because of Him Whom you crucified and because of your
recklessness in committing that outrage. What makes this so obvious? It is obvious from
this: when you Jews lived the life of ungodliness before, you got everything; now, after
the Cross, although you seem to be living a more moderate life, you endure a greater
vengeance and have none of your former blessings.

                                             V
    The prophets clearly and distinctly put the truth before you so that you could learn the
reason for your troubles. Hear how Isaiah predicted not only the blessings that will come
to all through Christ but also your senseless arrogance. He said: “By His stripes we were
healed,” and by these words he foretold the salvation which has come to all through the
Cross. Then, to show the kind of men we are, he went on to say: “We had all gone astray
like sheep, each turned aside on his own way.” In describing the manner of His execution
on the Cross, he said: “Like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearer, He
was silent and opened not His mouth. In His humiliation His legal trial was taken away.”
    And where can we see that all these things came true? In Pilate’s unlawful court of
law. Although they testified to so many things against Him, as Matthew said, Jesus made
no answer to them. Pilate, the presiding official, said to Him: “Do you hear what witness
these men bear against you?” And He made no answer but stood there silent. This is what
the heaven-inspired prophet meant when he said: “Like a lamb led to the slaughter or a
sheep before the shearer, He was silent.” Then he showed the lawlessness of the law
court when he said: “In His humiliation His legal trial was taken away.” No one at that
time cast a truly just vote against Him, but they accepted the false testimony against Him.
What was the reason for this? Because He did not wish to proceed against them.
    If He wished to do so, He would have stirred up everything and shaken the world to its
depths. When He was on the Cross, He split the rocks, darkened the earth, turned aside
the rays of the sun, and made night out of day over the whole world. If He did this on the
Cross, He could have done it in the courtroom. Yet He did not wish to do it but, instead,
showed us His mildness and moderation. This is why Isaiah said: “In His humiliation His
legal trial was taken away.” Then, to show that Jesus was not just anybody, He went on to
say: “Who shall declare His generation?” Who is this Man of Whom Isaiah said: “His life
is taken from the earth?” This is why Paul also said: “Our life is hidden with Christ in
God. When Christ, our life, shall appear, then you too will appear with Him in glory.”
    But let me return to the topic which I proposed to discuss and prove, namely, that the
Jews are enduring their present troubles because of Christ. It is time now to bring in my
witness, Isaiah, who spoke these words. Where, then, did he say this? After he spoke of
the trial, death, and ascension, after he said: “His life is taken from the earth,” he went on
to say: “And I shall give the ungodly for His burial, and the rich for His death.” He did
not simply say “the Jews,” but “the ungodly.” What could be more ungodly than those
who first received so many good things and then slew the Author of those blessings?
    If these prophecies have not been fulfilled, if you Jews are not now held in dishonor, if
you are not now bereft of everything your fathers had, if your city did not fall, if your
temple is not in ruins, if your disaster has not surpassed every tragedy, then you Jews
should refuse to believe me. But if the facts shout out and prophecy has been fulfilled,
why do you keep up your foolish and unavailing impudence?
    Where are the things you held as solemn, where is your high priest, where are his
robe, his breastpiece, and stones of declaration? Do not talk to me about those patriarchs
of yours who are hucksters and merchants and filled with all iniquity. Tell me, what kind
of priest is he if the ancient oil for anointing priests no longer exists nor any other ritual
of consecration? What kind of a priest is he if there is neither sacrifice, nor altar, nor
worship?
   Do you wish me to speak of the laws governing the priesthood and how priests were
consecrated in olden times? In this way you would find out that those among you who are
today called patriarchs are not priests at all. They act the part of priests and are playing a
role as if they were on the stage, but they cannot carry the role because they are so far
removed from both the reality and even the pretense of priesthood.
   Recall how in those days Aaron was made a priest, how many sacrifices Moses
offered, how many victims he slew, how he bathed Aaron, anointed the lobe of his ear,
his right hand and right foot. Only then did Moses lead Aaron into the holy of holies;
only then did he bid him remain there a set number of days. But it is worth your while to
hear his very words. “This is the anointing of Aaron and the anointing of his sons.” “And
the Lord spoke to Moses saying ‘Take Aaron with his sons, their vestments, and the oil of
unction, the calf for sin, and a ram, and gather together the community at the entrance of
the meeting tent.’ And Moses spoke to the whole assembly: ‘This is the word which the
Lord has commanded.’ And after he brought them forward” (for I must cut the account
short), “he washed them with water, put the tunic [on Aaron] , girded him with the sash,
clothed him with the robe, placed the ephod on him, girded him and fastened it around
him. He then set the breastpiece on him with the declaration of doctrine and truth on it,
and put the miter on his head, and on the miter, the gold plate. Taking the anointing oil he
sprinkled the altar with it and consecrated it and the vessels; the laver and its base he also
consecrated. And he poured some of the oil on Aaron’s head and did in like manner to his
sons. And he brought forward the calf. After he sacrificed it, when Aaron and his sons
had put their hands upon it, he took some of its blood and put it on the horns of the altar
and purified the altar. And he poured the blood on the base of the altar and consecrated it
by performing the rite of atonement over it. After he burned portions of the calf, some
within on the altar, others outside the camp, he brought in a ram and offered it for a
holocaust.
   And again he brought a second ram, the ordination ram. Aaron and his sons laid their
hands on it and Moses immolated it. He took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of
Aaron’s right ear, the thumb of his right hand, and the big toe of his right foot. And he
did the same thing to Aaron’s sons. Then he took some parts of the sacrifice and put them
into Aaron’s hands and those of his sons and in this way he made the offering. And again
he took the blood and some oil and sprinkled Aaron and his vestments with it, and his
sons and their vestments. He consecrated them and ordered them to cook the flesh at the
entrance to the tent of meeting and to eat it there. And he said: ‘You shall not go forth
from the entrance to the tent of meeting for seven days until the day when the day of your
ordination is complete.’”
   Moses said that by all these rites Aaron was ordained, purified, and consecrated, and
that they appeased God. But we find none of these today: no sacrifice, no holocaust, no
sprinkling of blood, no anointing with oil, no tent of meeting where they must sit for a
definite number of days. This makes it obvious that the priest among the Jews today is
unordained, unclean, under a curse, and profane; he only provokes God’s wrath. If a
priest could not be ordained in any other way than by these rites, and these rites no longer
exist, then there is no possible way that their priesthood could have continued to exist.
You see that I was right when I said they had gotten somewhere far off and had been far
removed from both the reality and even the pretense of the priesthood.

                                              VI
    We can also learn from other sources how awesome was the dignity of the priesthood.
Indeed, there was a day when some wicked and evil men revolted against Aaron,
quarreled with him over his position in the community, and tried to drive him from his
leadership. Moses, the mildest of men, wanted to persuade them by the facts themselves
that he had not brought Aaron to the leadership because he was a brother, relative, or
member of his family, but that it was in obedience to God’s decree that he had entrusted
the priesthood to him. So he ordered each tribe to bring a staff, and Aaron was instructed
to do the same.
    When each tribe had brought a staff, Moses took all of them and put them inside the
meeting tent. Once he had put them there, he gave orders that they await the decision of
God which would come to them through those staves. Then all the other staves kept their
same appearance, but a single one - Aaron’s - blossomed and put forth leaves and fruit.
So the Lord of nature used leaves instead of letters to teach them that He had again
elected Aaron.
    God said in the beginning: “Let the earth bring forth vegetation,” and He stirred up its
power to bear fruit; in Aaron’s day, He also took that dry and fruitless wood and made it
blossom without earth or root. That staff was thereafter a proof and witness both of the
wickedness of those men and of God’s choice. It uttered no word, but the very sight of it,
in tones clearer than any trumpet’s call, urged every man never to attempt such things as
did Aaron’s foes.
    Not only in this case but at another time and in another way God made clear His
choice of Aaron. Many men conspired against Aaron in their lust for the leadership for
which God selected him. (And leadership is the kind of thing many men fight over and
desire.) Moses ordered them to bring their censers, put incense in them, and to wait for a
decision from heaven. As they were burning their incense, the earth split apart and gulped
down all their supporters, and a flame from heaven consumed those who had taken up
their censers.
    Moses did not want anyone to forget, with the passage of time, what had happened.
Nor did he want men of a later day to remain ignorant of God’s wondrous decision.
Therefore, he gave orders that those bronze censers be picked up and beaten into plates
for the altar. Just as the very sight of the voiceless staff sent forth a voice, so these bronze
plates would speak to all men thereafter, to exhort and advise them never to imitate the
madness of those men of old, for fear that they might suffer the same judgment.
    Do you see how priests were chosen in former days? But everything that goes on
among the Jews today is a ridiculous sport, a trading in shame, filled with outrages
beyond number. Tell me, then. Do you let yourself be led by these men who stubbornly
oppose God’s laws in their every word and deed? Do you rush to their synagogues? Are
you not afraid that a bolt of lightning may come down from above and consume your
head? Even if a man is not a thief himself but is seen in a den of robbers, he pays the
same penalty as they. You do know this, do you not? But why talk about robbers and
their crimes?
    Surely you all know and remember the time when some evil tricksters in our midst
tore down the statues. You remember how not only those who did this reckless deed but
also those who were seen simply standing there when it happened were all arrested and
dragged off to court together. And you remember that they all paid the supreme penalty.
Tell me, then. Are you all agog to run off to a place where they outrage the Father,
blaspheme the Son, and reject the Holy Spirit, the Giver of life? Are you not afraid, do
you not shudder to set foot inside those profane and unclean places? Tell me. What
defense or excuse will you have since it is you who have thrust yourself into ruin and
perdition, since it is you who have hurled yourself from the precipice?
    Do not tell me that the Law and the books of the prophets are there. These do not
make it a holy place. Which is the better thing? Is it better to have the books there or to
speak out the truths they contain? Obviously it is better to speak out these truths and to
keep them in your heart. Tell me, what about this? The devil quoted Scripture. This did
not make his mouth holy, did it? You cannot say it did, since the devil kept on being the
devil. What about the demons? Just because they spoke out and proclaimed: “These men
are servants of the most high God and they proclaim to you a way of salvation,” do we on
this account rank them among the apostles? By no means! Just as before, we keep right
on turning our backs on them and hating them.
    If spoken words do not make the mouth holy, does the presence of the Scriptures
make a place holy? But how could this be right? This is my strongest reason for hating
the synagogue: it does have the Law and the prophets. And now I hate it more than if it
had none of these. Why is this? Because in the Law and the prophets they have a great
allurement and many a snare to attract the more simple-minded sort of men. This is why
Paul drove out the demon which did not remain silent but spoke out. As the author of
Acts says: “Being very much grieved, he said to the spirit, ‘Go out of her.’” Why?
Because the demon kept shouting: “These men are servants of the most high God.”
    As long as the demons remained silent, they did not deceive people by their words;
when they spoke out, they did so with the intention of enticing many of the simpler sort
into listening and heeding them in these other matters. The demons wish to open the door
to their deceits and to create confidence in their lies. And so they give some admixture of
truth, in the same way that those who mix lethal drugs smear the lip of the cup with
honey to make the harmful potion easy to drink.
    This is why Paul was very much grieved and why he hurried to stop up the demons’
mouths when they took to themselves a dignity which ill became them. This is why I hate
the Jews. Although they possess the Law, they put it to outrageous use. For it is by means
of the Law that they try to entice and catch the more simpleminded sort of men. If they
refused to believe in Christ because they did not believe in the prophets, the charge
against them would not be so severe. As it is, they have deprived themselves of every
excuse because they say that they do believe in the prophets but they have heaped outrage
on Him Whom the prophets foretold.

                                             VII
   In short, if you believe the place is holy because the Law and the books of prophets
are there, then it is time for you to believe that idols and the temples of idols are holy.
Once, when the Jews were at war, the people of Ashdod conquered them, took their ark,
and brought it into their own temple. Did the fact that it contained the ark make their
temple a holy place? By no means! It continued to be profane and unclean, as the events
straightway proved. For God wanted to teach the enemies of the Jews that the defeat was
not due to God’s weakness but to the transgressions of those who worshipped Him. And
so the ark, which had been taken as booty in war, gave proof of its own power in an alien
land by twice throwing the idol to the ground so that the idol was broken. The ark was so
far from making that temple a holy place that it even openly attacked it.
    Look at it in another way. What sort of ark is it that the Jews now have, where we find
no propitiatory, no tables of the law, no holy of holies, no veil, no high priest, no incense,
no holocaust, no sacrifice, none of the other things that made the ark of old solemn and
august? It seems to me that the ark the Jews now have is no better off than those toy arks
which you can buy in the market place. In fact it is much worse. Those little toy arks
cannot hurt anybody who comes close to them. But the ark which the Jews now have
does great harm each day to those who come near it.
    “Brethren, do not become children in mind, but in malice be children,” and rescue
from their untimely anguish those who are frightened by these things. Teach them what
should really terrify them and make them afraid. They should not be terrified by that ark
but they should be afraid that they will bring destruction to the temple of God. How will
they destroy the temple of God? By constantly rushing off to the synagogue, by a
conscience which is inclined toward Judaism, and by the untimely observance of the
Jewish rites.
    “You who would be justified in the Law have fallen away from grace.” This is what
you must fear. On that day of judgment you must be afraid of hearing Him Who will
judge you say: “Depart, I know you not.” “You made common cause with those who
crucified Me. You were obstinate toward Me and started up again the festivals to which I
had put an end. You ran to the synagogues of the Jews who sinned against Me. I
destroyed the temple and made ruins of that august place together with all the awe-
inspiring things it contained. But you frequented shrines that are no better than hucksters’
shops or dens of thieves.”
    The cherubim and the ark were still there, the grace of the Spirit still abounded in the
temple when Christ said: “You have made it a den of thieves” and “a house of business.”
And He said this because of the transgressions and blood-guilt of the Jews. Now, after the
grace of the Spirit has abandoned them, after all those august solemnities have been taken
away, they are still stubborn with God and carry on their irreligious rites. What worthy
name can we find to call their synagogues?
    The temple was already a den of thieves when the Jewish commonwealth and way of
life still prevailed. Now you give it a name more worthy than it deserves if you call it a
brothel, a stronghold of sin, a lodging-place for demons, a fortress of the devil, the
destruction of the soul, the precipice and pit of all perdition, or whatever other name you
give it.
    Do you wish to see the temple? Don’t run to the synagogue; be a temple yourself. God
destroyed one temple in Jerusalem but He reared up temples beyond number, temples
more august than that old one ever was. Paul said: “You are the temple of the living
God.” Make that temple beautiful, drive out every evil thought, so that you may be a
precious member of Christ, a temple of the Spirit. And make others be temples such as
you are yourselves. When you see the poor, you would not find it easy to pass them by.
When any of you see some Christian running to the synagogue, do not look the other
way. Find some argument you can use as a halter to bring him back to the Church. This
kind of almsgiving is greater than giving to the poor, and the profit from it is worth more
than ten thousand talents.
    Why do I speak of being worth more than ten thousand talents? Or worth more than
the whole visible world? A human being is worth more than the whole world. Heaven
and earth and sea and sun and stars were made for his sake.
    Consider well, then, the dignity and worth of the man you save. Do not think lightly of
the care you show to him. Even if a man gives away more money than you can count, he
does not do as great a thing as the man who saves a soul, leads it from its error, and takes
it by the hand along the road to godliness. The man who gives to the poor, takes away the
poor man’s hunger; the man who sets a Judaizing Christian straight, wins a victory over
godlessness. The first man gave consolation to the poor; the second put a stop to reckless
transgression. The first freed the body from pain, the other snatched a soul from the fires
of hell.
    I showed you the treasure; do not forsake the profit. You cannot dare put the blame on
your poverty or excuse yourself because you are indigent. The only expense is one of
phrases; the only cost is one of words. Therefore, let us not shrink back from the task but,
with all the zeal and desire we possess, let us go hunting for our brothers. Even though
they be unwilling, let us drag them into our own houses, let us sit down with them at table
and put a meal before them. Let us do this so that after they have broken their fast before
our eyes, after they have given us a full and sufficient guarantee of their conversion and
return to better ways, they may help both themselves and us to a share in eternal blessings
through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom and with
Whom be glory to the Father together with the Holy Spirit, now and forever, world
without end.

Amen.
                                      Homily VII
                                             I
    Have you had enough of the fight against the Jews? Or do you wish me to take up the
same topic today? Even if I have already had much to say on it, I still think you want to
hear the same thing again. The man who does not have enough of loving Christ will
never have enough of fighting against those who hate Christ. Besides, there is another
reason which makes a discourse on this theme necessary. These feasts of theirs are not
yet over; some traces still remain.
    Their trumpets were a greater outrage than those heard in the theaters; their fasts were
more disgraceful than any drunken revel. So, too, the tents which at this moment are
pitched among them are no better than the inns where harlots and flute girls ply their
trades. Let no one condemn me for the boldness of my words; it is the height of boldness
and outrage not to suspect the Jews of these excesses. Since they stubbornly fight against
God and resist the Holy Spirit, how can we avoid the necessity of passing such sentence
upon them?
    This festival used to be a holy one when it was observed according to the Law and at
God’s command. But this is no longer true. All its dignity has been destroyed because it
is observed against God’s will. Those who, above all others, treat the Law and the ancient
festivals with the least respect are the very ones who are ready today to observe the Law
and festivals more than anyone else. But we are the ones who honor the Law above all
others, even if we let it rest like a man who has grown old and infirm, even if we do not
drag it, gray with age, to the arena, even if we do not force it to enter the contests which
are not suited to its years. In my past discourses I gave adequate proof that today is not
the day of the Law nor of the old commonwealth and the old way of life.
    But come now, let me investigate what remains to be discussed. I did enough to
complete my task when I proved from all the prophets that any such observance of ritual
outside Jerusalem is transgression of the Law and a sacrilege. But they never stop whis-
pering in everybody’s ear and bragging that they will get their city back again. Even if
this were true, they could not escape the charge of transgressing the Law. But I gave you
abundant evidence to prove that the city will not be restored nor will they get back their
old commonwealth and way of life.
    Once that has been proved, there is no room for disagreement on any of the other
points. For example, neither the form of sacrifice, nor of the holocaust, nor the binding
force of the Law, nor any other aspect of their old commonwealth and way of life can
stand. To begin with, the Law commanded that three times each year every male go up to
the temple. But they could not do this once the temple was destroyed. Then, too, the Law
commanded that sacrifices be offered by the man afflicted with gonorrhea, the leper, the
woman in her menstrual period, the woman who had given birth to a child. But this is
impossible since the place no longer exists nor is there an altar to be seen. The Law
commanded them to sing sacred hymns but, as I showed before, the place they were
living in prevented them; the prophets condemned them and said they were reading the
Law and making their confession of praise to God in a foreign land. Since they could not
even read the Law outside Jerusalem, how could they observe it outside Jerusalem?
    This is why God threatened them and said: “I shall not visit your daughters when they
commit fornication nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery.” What does
this mean? First, I shall read to you the old Law and then I shall try to make His meaning
clearer. What, then, does the Law say? “If a woman transgresses against her husband,
disdaining and disregarding him, and if someone sleeps with her the sleep of intercourse,
and if she escapes the eye of her husband and there is no witness against her, nor is she
caught in the act, or if a spirit of jealousy comes over her husband when she has not been
defiled…”
    This is what the Law means. If a woman commits adultery and her husband suspects
it, or if he suspects her when she has not committed adultery, but there is no witness nor
conception to prove the suspicion, “he will bring her to the priest and take along barley
meal as an offering for her.” Why, I ask, must it be barley meal rather than fine flour or
the meal of wheat? Since what happened was a source of pain, accusation, and wicked
suspicion, the form of the sacrifice imitated a household disaster. This is why the Lord
said: “You will not pour oil on it nor put frankincense over it.” “Then” (for I must cut the
account short) “the priest shall lead her forward and will take pure water in an earthen
vessel; he will pick up some of the dust which is on the floor and throw it into the water;
he will make the woman stand, will make her swear an oath, and he will say to her: ‘If
you did not transgress so as to become defiled for your husband, be immune from the
water of reproof. But if you did transgress and you are defiled, if someone other than
your husband did have intercourse with you, may the Lord make of you an execration and
a curse among your people.’”
    What is the meaning of “an execration and a curse?” As the saying goes; May what
happened to that poor woman not happen to me! “‘By the Lord causing your belly to
swell and the water that brings a curse will enter your belly to make it swell.’ And the
woman will say: ‘Amen, Amen.’ And it will come to pass, if the woman is defiled, that
the water of the curse will enter her belly to make it swell, and the woman will be an
execration. If she is not defiled, she will be unharmed and will conceive offspring.” Once
the Jews had gone off into bondage, none of these things could be done because there
was no temple, no altar, no Meeting Tent, no sacrifice to be offered. Because this was the
case, when God threatened them, he said: “I shall not visit your daughters when they
commit fornication nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery.”

                                             II
   Do you see that the Law takes its force from the place? And since the city is gone,
there can no longer be a priesthood. There can be no emperor if there are no armies, no
crown, no purple robe, none of the other things which weld together an empire. So, too,
there can be no priesthood if sacrifice has been destroyed, if offerings are forbidden, if
the sanctuary has been trampled into the dust, if everything which constituted it has
disappeared. For the priesthood depended on all these things.
   As I said before, it was enough for my purpose to prove that neither the sacrifices, nor
the holocausts, nor the other purifications, nor any other part of the Jewish
commonwealth and way of life would return. It was enough, finally, to prove that the
temple will never rise again. Now that it is no more, everything has been taken away; if
something ritualistic seems to be going on, it is against the Law and a reckless crime. In
the same way, once I have proved that the temple will never be restored to its former
state, I have at the same time also proved that the rest of the ritual of worship will not
return to its former condition, that there will be no priest, there will be no king. If not
even a commoner of Jewish blood was allowed to be a servant to foreigners, it would be
all the more forbidden for their king himself to be subject to others.
    But since my effort and zeal are here devoted not only to stopping up the mouths of
the Jews but also to instructing your loving assembly, come now and let me take another
authority and prove this same point. Let me prove that both the sacrifices of the Jews and
their priesthood have so completely ended that they will never again return to their
former status.
    Who says this? That great and wonderful prophet, David. He made it clear that the one
kind of sacrifice would be abolished and another brought in to take its place when he
said: “Many are the wondrous works You have done, O Lord my God: and in Your
thoughts there is no one like to You. I have declared and I have spoken.” See how wise
the prophet is. He said: “Many are the wondrous works You have done,” and he stood
aghast at God’s power to work miracles. But he did not go on to tell us about the creation
of the things we see: of heaven, earth, and ocean, of water and fire; he did not tell us of
those strange marvels which happened in Egypt, or of any other miracles like those. What
did he say were wondrous works? “Sacrifice and oblation You did not desire.”
    What do you mean, David? Is this a strange marvel? No, he said. For this was not the
only thing he saw. Inspired by heaven, he saw with prophetic eyes how God would lead
the nations to Him; he saw how those who were nailed to their gods, who worshipped
stones, who were worse off than brute beasts suddenly looked up and recognized the
Master of all creation; he saw how these men put aside their foul worship of demons and
gave pure and bloodless worship to God. At the same time he saw that the Jews, too, who
were even more imperfect than the pagans, would put aside their worship through
sacrifices, holocausts, and other material things and be led to our way of life. And he
pondered on God’s ineffable loving-kindness which surpasses all understanding; he stood
aghast at how greatly things had changed, how God had reshaped them, how He had
made men from demons into angels, and how He had introduced a commonwealth and
way of life worthy of heaven.
    All this was to take place after the old sacrifice had been abolished and after God had
brought into its place the new sacrifice through the body of Christ. This is why David
stood aghast and marvelled and said: “Many are the wondrous works You have done, O
Lord my God.” To show that he made this whole prophetic prediction in behalf of Christ
when he said: “Sacrifice and oblation You did not desire,” David went on to say: “But a
body you have fitted to me.” By this he meant the Lord’s body which became the
common sacrifice for the whole world, the sacrifice which cleansed our souls, canceled
sin, put down death, opened heaven, gave us many great hopes, and made ready all the
other things which Paul knew well and spoke of when he exclaimed: “Oh, the depth of
the riches and of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are
His judgments and how unsearchable are His ways.”
    David, then, foresaw all this when he said: “Many are the wondrous works You have
done, O Lord my God.” He went on to say, speaking in the person of Christ: “In
holocausts and sin offerings You had had no pleasure,” and then continued: “Then I said,
Behold I come.” When was “then?” When the time was ripe for more perfect instructions.
We had to learn the less perfect lessons through His servants, but the loftier lessons
which surpass the nature of man we had to learn from the Lawgiver Himself.
   This is why Paul said: “God, Who at sundry times and in varied ways spoke in times
past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all in these days has spoken to us by His Son,
Whom He appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the world.” And again,
John said: “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus
Christ.” And this is the highest panegyric for the Law, namely that it prepared human
nature for the Teacher.
   But He did not want you to look on Him as a new God or any kind of innovation. Hear
what He said: “In the head of the book it is written of Me.” What He meant was this:
“Long ago the prophets foretold My coming and at the beginning of the Scriptures they
opened them a little to give men a glimpse of the knowledge that I am God.”

                                            III
    And so, at the beginning of creation, when God said: “Let us make mankind in Our
image and likeness,” He was revealing to us in a rather obscure way the divinity of His
Son, to Whom He was then speaking. Later on the Psalmist showed that this new
religious way of life did not contradict the old, but that it was God’s will that the old
sacrifice be abolished and the new sacrifice replace the old. The new was an extension of
the right way of worship; it did not oppose or fight with the old. He showed this when He
said: “In the head of the book it is written of Me,” and added: “That I should do Your
will, O My God; I have desired it and Your law in the midst of My heart.” And when He
explained what God’s will was, He made no mention of sacrifice or holocausts or
offerings or toil and sweat, but said: “I have declared Your justice in a great assembly.”
    What does He mean when He says: “I have declared Your justice?” He did not simply
say: “I have given,” but, “I have declared.” What does this mean? That He has justified
our race not by right actions, not by toils, not by barter and exchange, but by grace alone.
Paul, too, made this clear when he said: “But now the justice of God has been made
manifest independently of the Law.” But the justice of God comes through faith in Jesus
Christ and not through any Tabor and suffering. And Paul took up again the testimony of
this Psalm when he spoke as follows: “For the Law, having but a shadow of the good
things to come, and not the exact image of the objects, is never able by the sacrifices
which they offer continually, year after year the same, to perfect those who draw near.
Therefore in coming into the world, He says: ‘Sacrifice and oblation You wished not, but
a body You have fitted to Me.’” By this He meant the entrance into the world of the
Only-begotten, the dispensation through the flesh. For this is the way He came to us. He
did not change place for place - how could he since he is everywhere and fills all things -
but He was made visible to us through the flesh.
    Here we are fighting not only against the Jews but also against the pagans and many
heretics. So let me uncover for you the deeper meaning here; let me search out the reason
why Paul mentioned this text when he had countless testimonies to show that the Law
and the old commonwealth and way of life are no longer productive. He did not cite this
text simply by chance but he did it with good reason and ineffable wisdom. Everybody
would agree that he had on this subject other testimonies, both of greater length and more
vehement, if he had wished to bring them forward.
    For example, Isaiah said: “I have no pleasure in you. I have had enough of whole-
burnt rams. I desire not fat of fatlings and blood of bulls and goats, not even if you come
into My sight. Who required these things at your hands? If you offer Me wheaten flour, it
is in vain. Incense is an abomination to me.” And again, in another place: “I did not call
you now, Jacob, nor, Israel, did I make you weary. You did not honor Me with sacrifices
nor did you worship Me with your gifts; I did not weary you with frankincense, nor did
you get incense for Me with silver.” And Jeremiah said: “Why do you bring Me incense
from Sheba and cinnamon from a far country? Your holocausts have not pleased Me.”
And again: “Heap up your holocausts upon your sacrifices and eat up the flesh.” And
another prophet said: “Take away from Me the sound of your songs: I will not hear the
canticle of your harps.” And again, there was another text, where the Jews were saying:
“Will the Lord receive it in place of holocausts if I give my first-born for my wickedness,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” And the prophet reproved them and said: “It
has been announced to you what is good and what the Lord God requires of you, that you
love mercy, do judgment and justice, and be ready to walk behind your God.” David also
spoke in the same vein when he said: “I will not take calves from your house nor goats
from your flocks.”
    When Paul had so many testimonies in which God surely rejects those sacrifices, the
times of the new moon, the sabbaths, the festivals, why did he omit all these and mention
just that one text? Many of the infidels and many of the Jews themselves who are now
doing battle with me maintain that their commonwealth and way of life was not abolished
because it was imperfect or its place taken by a greater way of life - I mean ours - but
because of the sinfulness of those who offered the sacrifices in those days. And Isaiah
certainly did say: “If you stretch out your hands, I will turn away My eyes from you: and
if you multiply your prayers, I will not hear.” Then, to give the reason for this, he went on
to say: “For your hands are full of blood.” These words are not an accusation made
against the sacrifices; they are an indictment of the sinfulness of those who offered them.
God rejected their sacrifices because they offered them with bloodstained hands.
    Again, when David said: “I will not take calves from your house nor goats from your
flocks,” he went on to add: “But to the sinner God said: ‘Why do you declare My justices
and take my covenant in your mouth? You hated discipline and cast My words behind
you. If you saw a thief, you ran along with him and you threw in your lot with adulterers.
Your mouth abounded with injustice and your tongue wrapped up deceits in your words.
You sat down and spoke slander against your brother and set a stumbling block for your
mother’s son.’” This makes it clear that in this instance God did not simply reject
sacrifices, but that He rejected them because those who offered them were adulterers and
thieves and plotted against their brothers. So these enemies of mine maintain that, since
each prophet accuses those who offer the sacrifices, his prophecy is saying that this is the
reason why God rejected their sacrifices.

                                            IV
   This is what my opponents say to me. But Paul dealt them a knockout blow and said
enough to shut their shameless mouths when he cited as his witness the text I discussed.
When Paul wished to prove that God had rejected the old commonwealth and way of life,
because it was imperfect, and that He had rendered it inoperative, he took as his
testimony that text in which no accusation is made against those who offered the
sacrifices. He used a text which makes it clear that the sacrifice was in itself imperfect.
For the prophet David made no accusation against the Jews; he simply said: “Sacrifice
and oblation You did not desire, but a body You fitted to Me: in holocausts and sin
offerings You had no pleasure.”
    In explanation of this text Paul said: “He takes away the first so that He may establish
the second testament.” If David had said: “Sacrifice and oblation You did not desire,” and
then said no more, their argument would have some place to defend itself. But since he
also said: “But a body You fitted to Me,” and showed that another sacrifice was brought
in to replace it, he left no hope for the future that the old sacrifice would return. And in
explaining this, Paul said “Through this offering we have been sanctified in the will of
Christ;” and also: “If the blood of bulls and goats and the sprinkled ashes of a heifer
sanctify the unclean for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of
Christ, Who through the Holy Spirit offered Himself unblemished, cleanse our
conscience from dead works?” This gives us abundant proof, then, that those old rituals
have stopped, that a new rite has been brought forward to replace them, and that the old
will not hereafter be restored.
    What is left to discuss now? For some time I have been anxious to prove to you that
their kind of priesthood has disappeared and will never return. Let me make this
expressly clear from the Scriptures themselves. First I must preface this with a few
remarks, so that my explanation of what the Scriptures say may be even more obvious.
    On his return from Persia, Abraham begot Isaac; Isaac then begot Jacob; Jacob begot
the twelve patriarchs from whom arose the twelve tribes - or, rather, the thirteen, because,
in Joseph’s place, his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, became leaders of tribes. A tribe
was named after each of Jacob’s sons: for example, the tribe of Ruben, of Simeon, of
Levi, of Judah, of Naphthali, of Gad, of Asher, of Benjamin. So also in Joseph’s case, his
two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, gave their names to two tribes; one was called the tribe
of Ephraim and the other the tribe of Manasseh. Of these thirteen tribes all but one had
fields and large incomes, all but one tilled the fields and devoted themselves to all the
other secular pursuits. But the tribe of Levi was honored with the priesthood; it alone was
freed from secular work. They did not till the farms, nor follow trades, nor do anything
else of the sort, but devoted their attention exclusively to the priesthood. From all the
people they received tithes of wine and wheat and barley and everything else; all gave
them tithes and this was their income. No one from any other tribe could ever become a
priest. From this tribe - I mean the tribe of Levi - came Aaron, and, by succession, his
descendants received the priesthood; no one from another tribe ever became a priest. And
so these Levites received tithes from the rest, and, in this way, supported themselves.
    But in the time of Abraham, before the day of Jacob and Isaac, before the coming of
Moses, when the Law had not yet been written, when the priesthood did not clearly
belong to the Levites, when there was no Meeting Tent or temple, before the division of
the people into tribes, before Jerusalem existed, before anyone at all had yet taken control
of the government among the Jews, there was a man named Melchizedek, a priest of the
Most High God. This Melchizedek was at the same time both priest and king; he was to
be a type of Christ, and Scripture makes clear mention of this. For Abraham attacked the
Persians, rescued his nephew Lot from their hands, seized all the spoils, and was
returning from his mighty victory over his foes. After describing those events the
Scripture had this to say about Melchizedek. “Melchizedek, the king of Salem, brought
out bread and wine, for he was a priest of the Most High God. He blessed Abraham and
said, ‘Blessed be Abraham by the Most High God, Creator of heaven and earth; blessed
be the Most High God Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.’ Then Abraham
gave him a tenth of everything.”
    If, then, any prophet clearly says that after Aaron, after that priesthood, after those
sacrifices and oblations, there will rise up another priest, not from Levi’s tribe but from
another tribe from which no one ever became a priest, a priest not according to the order
of Aaron but according to the order of Melchizedek, it is just as clear that the old
priesthood has ceased to exist and another, a new priesthood has been brought in to take
its place. If the old priesthood were going to remain effective, it would have to be called a
priesthood according to the order of Aaron and not according to the order of
Melchizedek. Did any prophet speak of this new priesthood? Yes, that same prophet who
before spoke about the sacrifices and who was speaking of Christ when he said: “The
Lord said to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand.’”

                                             V
    To prevent anyone from suspecting that this was said about some ordinary man, it was
not Isaiah nor Jeremiah, nor any prophet who was a common man that said it, but King
David himself. But a king cannot call any man his Lord; it is God alone Whom he can
call Lord. If David were a common man, perhaps one of those shameless people would
have said that he was talking about a mere human being. But now, since David was a
king, he would not have called a man his Lord. If David were talking about some
ordinary person, how could he have said that this person sat at the right hand of that
ineffable and mighty Majesty? That would have been impossible. But of this person
David said: “The Lord said to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand till I make your enemies
your footstool.’”
    Then, to keep you from thinking that this person was weak and powerless, David went
on to say: “With You is the principality in the day of Your strength.” And he made it still
clearer when he said: “From the womb before the daystar I begot You.” But no mere man
was begotten before the daystar. “You are a priest forever, according to the order of
Melchizedek.” He did not say: “According to the order of Aaron.” So ask the Jews why
David brought in another priest, according to the order of Melchizedek, if the old
priesthood was not going to be abolished.
    At any rate, see how Paul made this still clearer when he came to this text. After Paul
said of Christ: “As he [David] says also in another place, ‘You are a priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek’” the Apostle went on to say: “On this point we
have much to say, and it is difficult to explain it.” After he reproved his disciples - but I
must cut the account short - he went on to tell them who Melchizedek was and to tell the
story. “He met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him; to
whom Abraham divided the tithes of all.” Then, to give some insight into Melchizedek,
the type, he said: “Now consider how great this man is, to whom even Abraham the
patriarch gave tithes of all.” He did not say this for no purpose but because he wanted to
show that our priesthood is much greater than the Jewish priesthood. And the excellence
of the realities is shown beforehand in the very types which foreshadow them.
    Abraham was the father of Isaac, the grandfather of Jacob, and the ancestor of Levi,
for Levi was Jacob’s son. The priesthood among the Jews began with Levi. So this man
Abraham was the ancestor of the Levites and the Jewish priests. But in the time of
Melchizedek, who is the type of our priesthood, Abraham had the rank of a layman. Two
things make this clear. First, he gave tithes to Melchizedek, and it is the laymen who give
tithes to the priests. Second, he was blessed by Melchizedek, and laymen are blessed by
priests.
    We again see the excellence of our priesthood when we find Abraham, the patriarch of
the Jews, the ancestor of the Levites, receiving a blessing from Melchizedek and giving
tithes to him. Surely the Old Testament says that Melchizedek blessed Abraham and
exacted a tenth part from him. And Paul brought these very points to the fore and then
said: “Consider how great this man is.” Who is “this man?” Paul told us. Melchizedek,
“to whom even Abraham their patriarch gave tithes from the best portions of the spoils.”
“And indeed they who are of the priestly sons of Levi have a commandment to take tithes
from the people, that is, from their brethren, though these also have come from the loins
of Abraham.”
    What Paul means is this. He said that the Levites, who were priests among the Jews,
received a commandment, according to the Law, to take tithes from the other Jews.
Although they all were descended from Abraham, both the Levites and the rest of the
people, nonetheless the Levites took tithes from their brothers. But Me1chizedek, who
was not of their descent, because he was not a descendant of Abraham, and who was not
of the tribe of Levi but from another nation, exacted a tenth part from Abraham, that is,
he took tithes from him.
    Not only this, but he did something further. What is that? He again blessed Abraham,
even though it was Abraham who had received the promises. What does this show? That
Abraham was much inferior to Melchizedek. How can this be? “Beyond all contradiction,
that which is less is blessed by the superior,” so that, unless Abraham, the ancestor of the
Levites, were inferior to Melchizedek, Melchizedek would not have blessed him, nor
would Abraham have given tithes to Melchizedek. But Paul wished to show that, because
of the excellence of Melchizedek, that inferiority might have continued, so he went on to
say: “Even Levi, the receiver of tithes, was also, so to speak, made subject to tithes,
through Abraham.”
    What does he mean by “was made subject to tithes?” Although Levi was not yet born,
through his father, he, too, gave tithes to Melchizedek. As Paul said: “He was still in the
loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.” This is why Paul was careful to say:
“So to speak.” He went on to tell why he said this. “If then perfection was by the
Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the Law), what further need was
there that another priest should rise, according to the order of Melchizedek, and said not
to be according to the order of Aaron?”
    What is it that Paul meant? He meant this. If the Jewish religion was perfect, if the
Law was not a foreshadowing of future blessings but had been efficacious in every
respect, if it was not going to yield to another Law, if the old priesthood was not going to
disappear and make way for another priesthood, why did the prophet say: “You are a
priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek?” He should have said: “according
to the order of Aaron.” This is why Paul said: “If then perfection was by the Levitical
priesthood, what further need was there that another priest should rise, according to the
order of Melchizedek, and said not to be according to the order of Aaron.”
    This surely made it clear that the old priesthood was ended and that another much
better and more sublime priesthood had been brought in to replace it. When we admit
this, we should also agree that another way of life suited to the new priesthood will be
brought in and another Law given, and clearly this is ours. Paul prepared us for this when
he said: “When the priesthood is changed, it is necessary that a change of law be made
also, for the Author of these is one.”
    Many of the prescriptions of the Law were devoted to the ministries of the priesthood,
and the old priesthood has been abolished. Since another priesthood was brought in to
replace the old, it is clear also that a greater Law had to be brought in to replace the old.
To make clear who it was of whom these words were spoken, Paul said: “For he of whom
these things are said is from another tribe, from which no one has ever done service at the
altar. For it is evident that our Lord has sprung out of Judah, and Moses spoke nothing at
all about priests when referring to this tribe.”
    Christ clearly is sprung from that tribe, namely the tribe of Judah; Christ surely is a
priest according to the order of Melchizedek; Melchizedek is surely much more venerable
than Abraham. Then we must also admit from every angle that one priesthood is being
brought in to replace another and that it is much more sublime than the old priesthood. If
the type was such, if it was more magnificent than the Jewish priesthood, the reality
which it foreshadowed is itself still much more magnificent. This is the point which Paul
was making when he said: “And it is yet far more evident if there arise another priest,
according to the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become so not according to the Law
of carnal commandment, but according to a life that cannot end.”
    What did Paul mean when he said: “Not according to the Law of carnal
commandment, but according to a life that cannot end?” He meant that none of Christ’s
commandments are carnal commandments. He did not order the sacrifice of sheep and
calves; He ordered us to worship God through the virtue of our lives; as our reward for
this, He set the prize of a life that cannot end. And again, after we had died as the price of
our sins, He came and raised us up; He saved us by freeing us from a double death: the
death from sin and the death of the flesh. Since He came bringing us such gifts, Paul said:
“Not according to the Law of carnal commandment, but according to a life that cannot
end.”

                                             VI
   I have, therefore, now proved what was left to be proved. I have proved that, because
the priesthood was changed, it was reasonable and necessary that there also be a change
of Law. And again I was able to prove this very point by bringing forward as my
witnesses the prophets. They testified that the Law will be changed, that the old
commonwealth and way of life will be transformed for the better, and that never again
will a king arise for the Jews.
   But I must say only as much as my audience can listen to and heed; I must not crowd
everything together and say it all at once. Therefore, I will store up the rest for another
occasion and, for the present, I will stop my instruction at this point. But let me first
exhort your loving assembly to keep in mind what I have said and to connect it up with
what I said before. And what I asked you before, I shall now ask you again. Rescue your
brothers and show great concern for our members who have grown negligent. I do not
undertake this great task just to hear myself talk or to enjoy the tumult of your applause; I
do it to bring those who have been cut off back to the path of truth.
    Let no one say to me: “I have nothing in common with him; I would be lucky to
manage well my own affairs.” No one can manage his own affairs if he does not love his
neighbor and work for his salvation. This is what Paul meant when he said: “Let no one
seek his own interests, but those of his neighbor.” He knew that your own interests lie in
what benefits your neighbor. You are in good health, but your brother is sick. So then, if
you are in your right mind, you will be distressed over him who is in distress and you
will, in this matter, follow the example of that blessed soul who said: “'Who is weak, and
I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I am not inflamed?”
    If we find joy in tossing down a couple of obols and spending a little money on the
poor, what great pleasure will we reap if we can save men’s souls? What recompense will
we enjoy in the life to come? Certainly, in this world, as often as we run into these men,
we will derive great pleasure from meeting them, because we recall the good turn we did
for them. When we see them in the next world before the dread tribunal of judgment, we
will experience a great confidence. When the unjust, the greedy, the plunderers, and those
who have inflicted countless evils on their neighbors go before this tribunal and see their
victims - and they surely will see them, as Christ says, and as is clear from the story of
the rich man and Lazarus - they will not be able to open their mouths nor to say a word in
their own defense. They will be overwhelmed with the great shame of their condemnation
and will be swept off from the sight of their victims into the rivers of flame.
    But when those who taught and instructed their neighbors in this life stand before the
tribunal, they will see those whom they saved pleading in their behalf. And they will be
filled with great confidence and trust. Paul made this clear when he said: “We are your
boast, as you will also be ours.” Tell me, when will this be? “In the day of our Lord Jesus
Christ.”
    And, again, Christ gave good counsel when He said: “Make friends for yourselves
with the mammon of wickedness, so that when you fail they may receive you into the
everlasting dwellings.” You see that much confidence will come to us from those to
whom we have done good in this life. But if there are so many prizes, such great
recompense, such ample repayment for the money we spent on others, how will we fail to
gain many great blessings when we help a soul? Tabitha clothed widows and aided the
poor and came back to life from the dead. If the tears of those to whom she did good
brought her departed soul back to her body and this before the day of resurrection - will
not the tears of those whom you rescued and saved do something to help you? The
widows who stood around Tabitha’s corpse pointed out that she who had died was alive.
In the same way, those whom you saved in this life will stand around you on the day of
judgement. They will snatch you from the fire of gehenna and see to it that you enjoy His
loving-kindness in abundance.
    Knowing, then, what we now know, let us not be roused to fervor only for the present
hour; fan the fire you now have, go forth, and spread salvation over the city; even if you
do not know them, get busy and find those who have this sickness. I shall be all the more
eager to speak to you when I have found out from your very deeds that I did not scatter
my seed on rocky ground. And you yourselves will be more eager to practice virtue. In
money matters, the man who has made a profit of two gold pieces gets a greater
enthusiasm to collect and amass a profit of ten or twenty pieces. This happens, too, in the
matter of virtue. The man who has succeeded in doing a good deed gets some
encouragement and motivation from doing this right action. The result is that he will
undertake other good deeds.
    Let us, then, rescue our brothers and store up beforehand pardon for our sins. Much
more, let us first store up abundant confidence and, before all else, let us see to it that
God’s name is glorified. To do this, let us take our wives, children, and households and
go out after this game and quarry. Let us drag from the snares of the devil those whom he
has made captive to his will. And let us not stop until we have done everything in our
power to rescue them, whether they heed or reject our words. But it would be impossible,
if they are Christians, for them not to heed us.
    Still, I do not want you to have even the excuse that they would not heed you. Let me
say this. If you pour out many words and do everything in your power and still see that he
refuses to heed you, then bring him to the priests. By the help of God’s grace the priests
will surely overcome their quarry. But it will all be your doing, because it was you who
took him by the hand and led him to us. Let husbands talk to their wives and wives to
their husbands, fathers to their children and friends to friends.
    Let the Jews learn how we feel. Let it also become known to those who side with the
Jews, even though they pretend to be ranked with us. We have an eager and vigilant
concern for our brothers who have deserted over to the Jewish side. When the Jews find
this out, it will be they, rather than we, who thrust out those of our number who frequent
their synagogue. I should say, there will be no one hereafter who will dare to flee to them,
and the body of the Church will be unsullied and pure.
    It is God’s will that all men be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. May He
give you strength for this hunt and may He lead them back from this error. May He save
us all together and make us worthy of the kingdom of heaven for His glory, since it is
fitting that His be the glory and the power for ever and ever.

Amen.
                                     Homily VIII
                                              I
    Gone is the fasting of the Jews, or rather, the drunkenness of the Jews. Yes, it is
possible to be drunk without wine; it is possible for a sober man to act as if he is drunk
and to revel like a prodigal. If a man could not get drunk without wine, the prophet would
never have said: “Woe to those who are drunk not from wine;” if a man could not get
drunk without wine, Paul would never have said: “Do not be drunk with wine,” For he
said this as if there were a possibility of getting drunk some other way. And it is possible.
A man can be drunk with anger, with unseemly desire, with greed, with vainglory, with
ten thousand other passions. For drunkenness is nothing other than a loss of right reason,
a derangement, and depriving the soul of its health.
    Therefore, I would not be making too strong a statement if I should say that we find a
drunkard not only in the man who is a heavy drinker of strong wine but we also find one
in the man who nurtures some other passion in his soul. For the man in love with a
woman who is not his wife, the man who spends his time with prostitutes, is a drunkard.
The heavy drinker cannot walk straight, his speech is rude, his eyes cannot see things as
they really are. In the same way, the drunkard who is filled with the strong wine of his
undisciplined passion is also unsound of speech; everything he utters is disgraceful,
corrupt, crude, and ridiculous; he, too, cannot see things as they really are because he is
blind to what he sees. Like a deranged man or one who is out of his wits, he imagines he
sees everywhere the woman he yearns to ravish. No matter how many people speak to
him at gatherings or banquets, at any time or place, he seems not to hear them; he strains
after her and dreams of his sin; he is suspicious of everything and afraid of everything; he
is no better off than some trap-shy animal.
    Again, the man in the grip of anger is drunk. In the same way as the other drunkards,
his face becomes swollen, his voice grows rough, his eyes are bloodshot, his mind is
darkened, his reason is submerged, his tongue trembles, his eyes are out of focus, and he
does not hear what is really said. His anger affects his brain worse than strong wine; it
stirs up a storm and causes a distress that cannot be calmed.
    But if the man in the grip of passion or anger is drunk, this is all the more true of the
impious man who blasphemes God, who goes against his laws and never is willing to
renounce his untimely obstinacy. This man is drunk, mad, and much worse off than
insane revelers, even if he does not seem aware of his condition. And this is the
characteristic which most marks a drunkard: he has no awareness of his unseemly
behavior. This, in fact, is the special danger of madness: those who suffer from it do not
know they are sick. So, too, the Jews are drunk but do not know they are drunk.
    Indeed, the fasting of the Jews, which is more disgraceful than any drunkenness, is
over and gone. But let us not stop thinking ahead for our brothers, let us not consider that
our concern for them is now no longer timely. See what soldiers do. Suppose they have
met the enemy and routed them. As they return from pursuing the foe, they do not
immediately rush back to camp. First they go back to the battlefield to pick up their fallen
comrades. They bury the dead but, if they see among the corpses men who are not
mortally wounded but are still breathing, they give them as much first aid as they can,
they pick them up, and carry them back to their camp. Then they extract the dart, call the
physicians, wash away the blood, apply remedies to the wounds, and by giving them
every care, they bring the wounded back to health.
    Therefore, we must do the same. By God’s grace, we made the prophets our warriors
against the Jews and routed them. As we return from pursuing our foes, let us look all
around to see if any of our brothers have fallen, if the fast has swept some of them off, if
any of them have shared in the festival of the Jews. Let us bury no one; let us, however,
pick up every fallen man and give him the treatment he needs. In battles between armies
of this world, a soldier cannot bring back to life or recover for further service a comrade
who has fallen once and for all and died. But in a battle of this war of ours, even if a man
has been mortally wounded, if we have good will and the help of God’s grace, we can
take him by the hand and lead him back to life. Unlike a casualty in war, here it is not a
man’s body that dies, but his will and his resolution. And it is possible to restore to life a
will that has died; it is possible to persuade a dead soul to come back to its own proper
life and to acknowledge again its Master.

                                              II
    We must not grow weary, my brothers, we must not become exhausted, we must not
lose heart. Let no one say: “'We should have done all we could to put them on their guard
before the fast. Now that they have fasted, now that they have sinned, now that their
transgression is complete, what use is there in helping them now?”
    If anyone knows what it means to look out for his brothers, he also knows that he must
look out for them and show this concern now more than ever. We must not only put them
on their guard before they sin but we must also extend a helping hand after they have
fallen. Suppose God had done that from the beginning; suppose he had put us on our
guard only before we sinned; suppose, after we had sinned, he had given us up and let us
lie where we had fallen from one end of our life to the other. Then no one of us would
ever have been saved.
    But God does not act that way. He loves men, He is kind to them, He desires their
salvation above all things. And so He looks out for them even after they have sinned. He
put Adam on his guard, too, before he sinned. He said to Adam: “From every tree in the
garden you will eat; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil do not eat; for
on the day you eat of it, you will surely die.” God put Adam on his guard by giving him
every warning he would need: He showed him the ease of fulfilling the law, the liberality
of what it permitted, the harshness of the future punishment, and the speed with which it
would come. For God did not say: “After one, two, or three days,” but, “on the very day
you eat of it, you will surely die.”
    God looked out for Adam very carefully; He instructed him, exhorted him, and gave
him many blessings. But even so, Adam disregarded His commands and fell into sin. Still
God did not say: “What good will it do now? What is the use of helping now? He ate the
fruit, he fell into sin, he transgressed the law, he believed the devil, he dishonored My
commandment, he was wounded, he became subject to death and died, he came under the
judgment. What need have I to speak to him now?”
    But God said none of these things. Rather, He came immediately to Adam, spoke to
him, and consoled him. Again God gave Adam another remedy - the remedy of toil and
sweat. God kept right on doing everything and exerting Himself until He raised up fallen
nature, rescued it from death, led it by the hand to heaven, and gave it greater blessings
than it had lost. By the things God Himself did, He taught the devil that he would reap no
profit from his plot. Satan had succeeded in driving men from Paradise but he would soon
see them in heaven mingling with the angels.
   In the case of Cain, God did the same thing. Before Cain’s great sin, God spoke
plainly to him, warned him, and said: “You sinned; stop it. His [Abel’s] refuge is in you
and you will rule over him.” See God’s wisdom and understanding. He said: “Because I
have honored Abel, you are afraid he will take from you the privilege of the first-born;
you are afraid he will take the first place, which is due to you.” For the first-born
necessarily had a more honored position than the second-born. So God said: “Take
courage, do not be afraid, feel no anguish over this. His refuge is in you, and you will rule
over him.” This is what God meant: “Stay in the honored position of the first-born; be a
refuge, a shelter, and a protection for your brother. But do not jump to bloodshed; do not
come to that impious act of murder.” Even so, Cain did not listen, he did not stop, he did
commit that murder, he did bathe his hand in blood from his brother’s throat.
   But then what happened? God did not say: “Let him go now. What further use is there
in helping him? He did commit the murder, he did slay his brother. He scorned My
advice; he dared to do that mad and unforgiveable deed of slaughter. Even though I was
looking out for him, instructing him, counseling him, even though he enjoyed such
benefits from Me, he drove all these from his mind and paid them no heed. Let him go,
then, and be hereafter cast from My sight. He has deserved no consideration from Me.”
   God neither said nor did anything like that. Instead, He came again to him, corrected
him, and said: “Where is your brother Abel?” When Cain said he did not know, God still
did not desert him but He brought him, in spite of himself, to admit what he had done.
After Cain said: “I do not know,” God said: “The voice of your brother’s blood cries to
Me.” What God was telling Cain was that the very deed proclaimed who the murderer
was. And what did Cain say? “My guilt is too great to be forgiven. If you drive me from
the land, I shall also be hidden from Your face.”
   What Cain meant was this. “I have committed a sin too great for pardon, defense, or
forgiveness; if it is Your will to punish my crime, I shall lie exposed to every harm
because Your helping hand has abandoned me.” And what did God do then? He said:
“Not so! Whoever kills Cain shall be punished sevenfold.” What God said was this: “Do
not fear that. You will live a long life. If any man does kill you, he will be subject to
many punishments.” For the number seven in the Scriptures means an indefinitely large
number. So, then, Cain was stricken with many punishments - with torment and
trembling, with grief and discouragement, with paralysis of his body. After he had
undergone these penalties, as God put it: “Whoever kills you and frees you from these
punishments will draw the same vengeance upon himself.”
   The punishment of which God spoke seems to be excessively harsh but it does give us
a glimpse of His great solicitude. God wanted men of later times to exercise self-control;
therefore, He designed the kind of punishment which was capable of setting Cain free
from his sin. If God had immediately destroyed him, Cain would have disappeared, his
sin would have stayed concealed, and he would have remained unknown to men of after
days. But as it is, God let him live a long time with that bodily tremor of his. The sight of
Cain’s palsied limbs was a lesson for all he met; it served to teach all men and exhort
them never to dare do what he had done, so that they might not suffer the same
punishment. And Cain himself became a better man again. His trembling, his fear, the
mental torment which never left him, his physical paralysis kept him, as it were,
shackled. They kept him from leaping again to any other like deed of boldness; they
constantly reminded him of his former crime; through them he achieved greater self-
control in his soul.

                                             III
    As I was speaking, it occurred to me to bring up a further question. Cain confessed his
sin and condemned what he had done; he said his crime was too great to be forgiven and
that he deserved no defense. Why, then, could he not wash away his sins? The prophet
Isaiah said: “Be the first to tell your iniquities, that you may be justified.” Why, then, was
Cain condemned? Because he did not tell his sins as the prophet commanded. Isaiah did
not simply say: “Tell your iniquities.” What did he say? He said: “Be the first to tell your
iniquities.”
    The question here is this. It is not simply a matter of telling, but of being the first to
tell and not waiting for an accuser to convict you. But Cain did not tell first; he waited for
God to accuse him. And then, when God did accuse him, he denied it. After God had
once and for all given clear proof of what he had done, Cain then told his sin. But this is
no longer a confession.
    Therefore, beloved, when you commit sin, do not wait for another man to accuse you
but, before you are accused and indicted, do you yourself condemn what you have done.
Then, if someone accuses you later on, it is no longer a matter of your doing the right
thing in confessing, but of your correcting the accusation which he makes. And so it is
that someone else has said: “The just man begins his speech by accusing himself.” So it is
not a question of accusing but of being the first to accuse yourself and not waiting for
others to accuse you.
    Peter certainly sinned gravely in denying Christ. But he was quick to remind himself
of his sin and, before anyone accused him, he told of his error and wept bitterly. He so
effectively washed away his sin of denial that he became the chief of the apostles and the
whole world was entrusted to him.
    But I must get back to my main topic. What I said has given us sufficient proof that
we must not neglect or scorn our brothers who fall into sin. We must put them on their
guard before they sin and we must show great concern for them after they have fallen.
This is what physicians do. They tell people in good health what can preserve their health
and what can ward off every disease. But if people have disregarded their instructions
and have fallen sick, physicians do not neglect them but, especially at that time, they look
out for the patients so that they may free them from their ailments.
    And Paul certainly did this too. Incest is a sin and serious transgression which is not
even found among the pagans. But Paul did not scorn the man who had committed incest.
Even though this man rebelled and refused to be cured, even though he kicked about and
was unmanageable, Paul led him back to health and he did it in such a way as to unite
him again to the body of the Church. Paul did not say to himself: “What good would it
do? What would be the use? He committed incest, he has sinned; he does not want to give
up his licentious ways; he is puffed up and boastful and has made his wound incurable.
So let us be done with him and leave him in the lurch.”
    Paul said none of these things. The very reason why he showed great concern for this
sinner was that he saw the man had slipped into unspeakable wickedness. So Paul never
gave up frightening him, threatening him, punishing him both through his own efforts
and with the help of others. Paul left nothing undone, nothing untried until he brought the
man to acknowledge his sin, to see his transgression. And, at last, Paul freed the man
from every stain of sin.
    Now you do the same thing Paul did. Imitate the Samaritan in the gospel who showed
such concern for the man who had been wounded. For a Levite passed that way, a
Pharisee passed by, but neither of them turned to the man lying there. They just went
their way and, like the cruel, pitiless men they were, they left him there. But a Samaritan,
who was in no way related to this man, did not hurry past but stopped, took pity on him,
poured oil and wine on his wounds, put him on his own animal, and brought him to an
inn. There he gave some money to the innkeeper and promised him more for taking care
of a man who was in no way related to him.
    He did not say to himself: “What do I care about him? I am a Samaritan. I have
nothing in common with him. We are far from the city and he cannot even walk. What
about this? Suppose he is not strong enough to make the long journey. Am I going to
bring in a corpse, will I be arrested for murder, will I be held accountable for his death?”
Many a time people go along a road and see men who have been wounded but are still
breathing. But they pass them by not because they are stingy with their money, but
because they are afraid that they themselves may be dragged into court and held
accountable for the murder.
    That gentle and benevolent Samaritan feared none of these things. He scorned all such
fears, put the man on his own beast, and brought him to an inn. He did not think of any of
these things - neither the danger, nor the expense, nor anything else. If the Samaritan was
so kind and gentle to a stranger, what excuse would we have for neglecting our own
brothers when they are in deeper trouble? For those who have just observed the fast have
fallen among robbers, the Jews. And the Jews are more savage than any highwaymen;
they do greater harm to those who have fallen among them. They did not strip off their
victim’s clothes nor inflict wounds on his body as did those robbers on the road to
Jericho. The Jews have mortally hurt their victim’s soul, inflicted on it ten thousand
wounds, and left it lying in the pit of ungodliness.

                                            IV
   Let us not overlook such a tragedy as that. Let us not hurry past so pitiable a sight
without taking pity. Even if others do so, you must not. Do not say to yourself: “I am no
priest or monk; I have a wife and children. This is work for the priests; this is work for
the monks.” The Samaritan did not say: “'Where are the priests now? Where are the
Pharisees now? Where are the teachers of the Jews?” But the Samaritan is like a man who
found some great store of booty and got the profit.
   Therefore, when you see someone in need of treatment for some ailment of body or
soul, do not say to yourself: “Why did so-and-so or so-and-so not take care of him?” You
free him from his sickness; do not demand an accounting from others for their negli-
gence. Tell me this. If you find a gold coin lying on the ground, do you say to yourself:
“Why didn’t so-and-so pick it up?” Do you not rush to snatch it up before somebody else
does?
    Think the same way about your fallen brothers; consider that tending his wounds is
like finding a treasure. If you pour the word of instruction on his wounds like oil, if you
bind them up with your mildness, and cure them with your patience, your wounded
brother has made you a richer man than any treasure could. Jeremiah said: “He who has
brought forth the precious from the vile will be as my mouth.” What could we compare to
that? No fasting, no sleeping on the ground, no watching and praying all night, nor
anything else can do as much for you as saving your brother can accomplish.
    Consider how frequent and numerous are the sins you commit with your mouth. How
many obscene things has it said? How many blasphemies, how many abuses has it
uttered? If you give some thoughts to this, you will surely never hesitate to look out for
your fallen brother. By this one good deed you can cleanse every stain from your mouth.
Why do I say cleanse? Because you will make your mouth as the mouth of God. And
what honor could be equal to that? It is not I who make this promise to you. God Himself
said it. If you bring back one person, He said, your mouth will be cleansed and holy, as
My mouth is.
    So let us not neglect our brothers, let us not go around saying: “How many kept the
fast? How many were filched away from us?” Rather, let us show our concern for them.
Even if those who observed the fast are many, you, my beloved, must not make a show
and a parade of this calamity in the Church; you must cure it. If someone tells you that
many have observed the fast, stop him from talking so that the rumor may not get around
and become public knowledge. You say to him: “For my part, I don’t know of anyone
who observed it. You are mistaken, sir, and deceived. If you see two or three filched
away, you say that these few are many.” So stop this accuser from talking. But you must
also see to it that you show your concern for those who were snatched away. Then you
will keep the Church safe from a double hurt: first, by preventing the rumor from making
the rounds and, secondly, by bringing back to the sacred fold the sheep who were
snatched away.
    Therefore, let us not go around asking: “Who fell into sin?” Let our only zeal be to set
straight those who have sinned. It is a dangerous practice and a terrible thing only to
accuse your brothers and not to come to their aid, to parade in public the sins of the sick
and not to cure them. Let us, then, get rid of this wicked practice, my beloved, for it leads
to no small harm.
    Let me tell you how it does this. Somebody hears you say that there were many who
observed the fast with the Jews and, without any further investigation, he spreads the
story to somebody else. And the second man, without inquiring into the truth of the
rumor, again tells it to still another. Then, as the evil rumor little by little grows greater, it
spreads a great disgrace over the Church. And this does no good for those who have
fallen away; in fact, it causes considerable harm both to them and to many others.
    Even if those who did fall are few in number, we make them a multitude by the
multitude of our rumors; we weaken those who resisted and we give a push to those on
the point of falling. If one of our brothers hears the rumor that a large number joined in
keeping the fast, he will be more inclined to be careless himself; again, if it is one of the
weak ones who hears the story, he will rush to join the throng of those who have fallen.
Even if many have sinned, let us not join with those who rejoice at this or any other evil.
If we do, we make a parade of the sinners and say that their name is legion. Rather, let us
stop the rumormongers and keep them from spreading the story.
   Do not tell me that those who observed the fast are many. Even if they are many, you
must set them straight. I did not expend all these words for you to accuse many, but for
you to make the many few and to save even these few. Therefore, do not put their sins on
parade, but treat their wounds. Some people parade rumors about and have time only for
that. They see to it that the number of those who have sinned is judged to be large even if
only a few have fallen. In the same way, if people reprove the rumormongers and shut
their mouths, if they show concern for those who have fallen, no matter how many they
be, it is no hard task for them to set the sinners straight. And furthermore, they keep those
rumors from doing harm to anyone else.
   You have heard David’s lament for Saul when he said: “How the mighty have fallen.
Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon so that the daughters of
foreign tribes may not rejoice, so that the daughters of the uncircumcised may not exult in
arrogance.” If David did not wish the matter paraded in public so that it might not be a
source of joy to his foes, so much the more must we avoid spreading the story to alien
ears. Rather, we must not spread it even among ourselves for fear that our enemies may
hear it and rejoice, for fear that our own may learn of it and fall. We must hush it up and
keep it guarded on every side. Do not say to me, “I told so-and-so.” Keep the story to
yourself. If you did not manage to keep quiet, neither will he manage to keep his tongue
from wagging.

                                              V
    What I say applies not only to the actual observance of the fast but also to ten
thousand other sins. Let us not only ask if many were filched away; let us ask how we
may bring them back. Let us not exalt our enemies’ side and destroy our own. Let us not
show that they are strong and that our side is weak. Let us do quite the opposite. Rumor
can often destroy a soul but, just as often, it can lift it up; it can put zeal in a soul where
there was none and, again, it can destroy the zeal that was there.
    So I urge you to increase the rumors which exalt our cause and show its greatness, but
not the rumors which spread shame on the community of our brothers. If we hear
something good, let us broadcast it to all; if we hear something bad or evil, let us keep
that hidden among ourselves and do everything we can to get rid of the evil. Therefore,
let us now go forth, let us get busy and search for the sinner, let us not shrink back even if
we must go into his home. If you do not know him, if you have no connection with him,
get busy and find some friend or relative of his, someone to whom he pays particular
attention. Take this man with you and go into his home.
    Do not blush or feel ashamed. If you were going there to ask for money or to get some
favor from him, you would have reason for feeling ashamed. If you hurry there to save
the man, no one can find fault with your motive for entering his home. Sit down and talk
with him. But start your conversation on other topics so that he does not suspect that the
real purpose of your visit is to set him straight.
    Say to him: “Tell me, do you approve of the Jews for crucifying Christ, for
blaspheming Him as they still do, and for calling Him a lawbreaker?” If the man is a
Christian, he will never put up with this; even if he be a Judaizer times without number,
he will never bring himself to say: “I do approve.” Rather, he will stop up his ears and
say to you: “Heaven forbid! Be quiet, man.” Next, after you find that he agrees with you,
take up the matter again and say: “How is it that you attend their services, how is it you
participate in the festival, how is it you join them in observing the fast?” Then accuse the
Jews of being obstinate. Tell him about their every transgression which I recounted to
your loving assembly in the days just past. Tell him of their transgressions connected
with the place, the time, and the temple, and how the prophets gave proof of these in their
predictions. Show him how the whole ritual of the Jews is useless and unavailing. Show
him that they will never return to their old commonwealth and way of life and that they
are forbidden to fulfill, except in Jerusalem, what the old life demanded.
    Furthermore, remind him of gehenna. Remind him of the test he will undergo before
the Lord’s dread tribunal of judgment. Remind him that we will give an accounting for all
these things and that no small punishment awaits those who dare to do what he is doing.
Remind him that Paul said: “You who are justified in the Law have fallen away from
grace.” Remind him of Paul’s threat: “If you be circumcised, Christ will be of no
advantage to you.” Tell him that, as is the case with circumcision, so, too, the fasting of
the Jews drives from heaven the man who observes the fast, even if he has ten thousand
other good works to his credit. Tell him that we have the name of Christians because we
believe in Christ and not because we run to those who are His foes.
    Suppose he uses the cures which the Jews effect as his excuse; suppose he says: “They
promise to make me well, and so I go to them.” Then you must reveal the tricks they use,
their incantations, their amulets, their charms and spells. This is the only way in which
they have a reputation for healing; they do not effect genuine cures. Heaven forbid they
should! Let me go so far as to say that even if they really do cure you, it is better to die
than to run to God’s enemies and be cured that way. What use is it to have your body
cured if you lose your soul? What profit is there that you find some relief from your pain
in this world if you are going to be consigned to eternal fire?
    So that no Jew may say he will cure you, listen to what God said: “If there arise
among you a prophet or dreamer of dreams who gives you a sign or wonder, and if the
sign or wonder of which he spoke comes to pass, and if he says: ‘Let us go and worship
other gods,’ do not listen to that prophet; for the Lord, your God, is testing you to see if
you love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul.”
    What God means is this. Suppose some prophet says to you: “I can raise a dead man
to life or cure a blind man. But you must obey me when I say: ‘Let us worship demons,
or let us offer sacrifice to idols.’” Then, suppose the man who said this can cure a blind
man or can raise a dead man to life. God said that you must not heed him because of
these signs and wonders which he works. Why? Because God is testing you, He
permitted that man to have this power. It is not that God does not know your thoughts but
that He is giving you a chance to prove if you really love Him. And there are men who
are eager to drag us away from our Beloved. Even if they show dead men brought back to
life, the man who truly loves God will not stand apart from God because he has seen such
signs and wonders.
    If God said this to the Jews, He says it all the more to us. We are the ones He led to a
greater life of virtue. He opened the door for us to rise again. He gave the command to us
not to love our dwelling here on earth but to keep all our hopes aimed at the life to come.
                                             VI
    But what are you saying? Is it that a bodily ailment is afflicting you and crushing you?
You have not suffered as many ills as did blessed Job. You have not endured even the
slightest part of his pain. First, he lost the whole throng of his flocks, his herds, and every
other possession. Then the whole chorus of his children was snatched off. And all this
happened on a single day, so that not only the nature of his calamities but also the
unbroken succession of his losses might crush this athlete down to earth.
    After all that, he received a lethal blow on his body, he saw worms swarming forth
from his flesh, he sat naked on a dung hill, a public spectacle of disaster for all men there
to see, Job the just, truthful, God-fearing man who kept himself aloof from every evil
deed. And his troubles did not stop there. All day, all night, he suffered distress, and a
strange and unusual hunger assailed him. He said: “I see my food is a stench.” Each day
he was reproached, scoffed at, mocked, and ridiculed. He said: “My servants and the
children of my concubines have risen up against me, my dreams are filled with terror, my
thoughts are tossed with constant storms.”
    But his wife promised him freedom from all these things when she said: “Speak some
word against the Lord and die.” What she meant was: “Curse God and you will be freed
from the troubles which oppress you.” Did her advice change the mind of that holy man?
It did just the opposite; it gave him great strength so that he even reproached his wife. He
chose to feel pain, to endure hardship, and to suffer ten thousand terrible things rather
than curse God and so find release from his terrible troubles.
    The man who had been thirty-eight years in the grip of his infirmity used to rush each
year to the pool and each year he was driven back and found no cure. Each year he would
see others cured because they had many to take care of them. But he had no one to put
him in the water ahead of the others and so remained in the constant grip of his paralysis.
Even so, he did not run to the soothsayers, he did not go to the charm-users, he did not tie
an amulet around his neck, but he waited for God to help him. That is why he finally
found a wonderful and unexpected cure.
    Lazarus wrestled all his days with hunger, disease, and poverty, not only for thirty-
eight years but for his whole life. At any rate, he died while he was lying at the gateway
of the rich man, scorned, scoffed at, famished, laid out before the dogs for food. For his
body had grown too weak to scare away the dogs who came and licked his wounds. Yet
he did not search for a soothsayer, he did not tie tokens around his neck, and he did not
resort to the charm-users, he did not call in those skilled in witchcraft, nor did he do
anything he was forbidden to do. He chose to die from these troubles of his rather than
betray in any small way his life of godliness.
    Look at the torments and sufferings those men endured! What excuse will we have if
for our fevers and hurts we run to the synagogues, if we summon into our own house
these sorcerers, these dealers in witchcraft? Hear what the Scripture says: “My son, if you
come to serve the Lord, prepare your soul for trial, put straight your heart, and be
steadfast. Be obedient to Him in sickness and in poverty. As gold is tested in the fire, so
the chosen man is tested in the furnace of humiliation.”
    Suppose you flog your servant. Suppose, that, after you have dealt him thirty or fifty
lashes, he then loudly demands his freedom, or that he flees from your control to take
refuge with men who hate you. Suppose that he then incites them against you. Tell me
this. Can he get you to forgive him? Can anyone offer a defense in his behalf? Of course
not.
    But why? Because it is a master’s duty to punish his servant. And this is not the only
reason. If the slave had to run away, he should not have gone to enemies who hated his
master; he should have gone to his master’s true friends. You must do the same. When
you see that God is punishing you, do not flee to His enemies, the Jews, so that you may
not rouse His anger against you still further. Run instead to the martyrs, to the saints, to
those in whom He is well pleased and who can speak to Him with great confidence and
freedom.
    But why talk about slaves and masters? If a father flogs his son, the son cannot do
what the slave did, nor can he deny his relationship to his father. Suppose the father flogs
his son, suppose he keeps him from his table, suppose he drives him from his house, and
punishes him every way he can. Both the laws of nature and those established by man
command the son to be brave and endure all this. No one ever excuses the son if he
refuses to obey his father and put up with the punishment. Even if the boy who was
flogged lifts his voice in ten thousand bitter laments, everybody tells him that it was his
father who flogged him, that his father is his master and has the power to do whatever he
wants, that the son must meekly endure it all.
    So, then, slaves put up with their masters and sons put up with their fathers even
though the punishments they get often do not fit the fault. Will you refuse to put up with
God when He corrects you? Is He not more your master than your master is? Does He not
love you more than any father? When He interferes and does something, it is not done
from anger. He does everything for your own good. If you get some slight illness, will
you reject Him as your master and rush off to the demons and desert over to the
synagogues? What pardon will you find after that? How can you call on Him for help
again? Who else will be able to plead your cause even if he could speak with the freedom
and confidence of a Moses? There is no one.
    Do you not hear what God said to Jeremiah about the Jews? “Do not intercede for this
people because even if Moses and Samuel shall stand (before My face), I will not listen
to them.” That is how far some sins go beyond forgiveness and how incapable of defense
they are. Therefore, let us not draw down such anger on ourselves. Even if the Jews seem
to relieve your fever with their incantations, they are not relieving it. They are bringing
down on your conscience another more dangerous fever. Every day you will feel the sting
of remorse; every day your conscience will flog you. And what will your conscience say?
“You sinned against God, you transgressed His Law, you violated your covenant with
Christ. For an insignificant ailment you betrayed your faith. You are not the only one
who has suffered this ailment, are you? Have not others been much more seriously ill
than you? Still no one of them dared commit such a sin. But you were so soft and weak
that you sacrificed your soul. What defense will you make to Christ? How will you ask
for His help in your prayers? With what conscience will you set foot in the church? With
what eyes will you look at the priest? With what hands will you touch the sacred
banquet? With what ears will you listen to the reading of the scriptures there?”
                                            VII
    Every day your reason will sting you and your conscience will flog you with these
words. What kind of health is this when we have such thoughts in our minds to accuse
us? But if you put up with your fever for a little while, if you scorn those who want to
chant over you an incantation or tie an amulet to your body, if you insult them roundly
and drive them from your house, your conscience will immediately bring you relief like a
drink of water. Even if the fever recurs time and time again, even if it is burning up your
body, your soul brings you a solace that is better and more profitable than any relief from
water or perspiration.
    Even if you recover your health after the incantation, the thought of the sin you
committed leaves you worse off than those who are tossed with fever. And if you are the
one who has the fever now, if you are the one who suffers ten thousand torments, you
will be better off than any healthy man, because you have gotten rid of those foul
sorcerers. Your reason will exult, your soul will rejoice and be glad, your conscience will
praise you and voice its approval.
    And what will your conscience say? “'Well done, well done, good man. You are the
servant of Christ, you are the man of faith, the athlete of the godly life. You chose to die
in torment rather than betray the life of godliness entrusted to your care. You will stand
with the martyrs on that day. The martyrs chose to be flogged and torn on the rack that
God might hold them in honor. So you chose this day to be flogged and racked with fever
and wounds rather than submit to profane incantations and amulets. Because you nurture
yourself with these hopes, you will not feel the torments which assail you.”
    If this fever does not carry you off, another one surely will; if we do not die now, we
are sure to die later. It is our lot to have a body doomed to die. But we do not have this
body so that we may heed its passions and take to ourselves a life of godlessness, but that
we may use its passions for the godly life. If we live the sober life, this corruption, this
same mortal body will become the basis for our honor and will give us great confidence
not only on that day but also in the present life.
    So, go ahead and insult those sorcerers roundly and drive them from your house.
Everybody who hears of it will praise you and marvel at you. People will say one to the
other: “So and so was sick and in pain. Time and time again people came to him and
urged him, exhorted him, and advised him to subject himself to magic incantations. He
did not give in but said: ‘It is better to die the way I am than to betray my faith and the
godly life.’” Those who hear these words will applaud him long and loud; they will be
astounded and give glory to God.
    Do you not think this will be more rich in honor than many statues, more brilliant in
its magnificence than many portraits, more remarkable in its distinction than many
dignities? Everyone will praise you, everyone will count you happy, everyone will crown
you with the victor’s wreath. And they will be better themselves, they will experience a
return to zeal, they will imitate your courage. If somebody else does what you did, you
will carry off the reward because it was you who gave him his start, it is you whom he
emulates.
    Your good deeds will not only bring praise to you but also rapid release from your
sickness. The nobility of your choice will win God to even greater good will; all the
saints will rejoice at what you have done; they will pray for you from the bottom of their
hearts. If such courage brings these rewards in this life, consider what reward you will
receive in heaven. In the presence of all the angels and archangels, Christ will come
forward, take you by the hand, and lead you to the middle of that stage. Everyone will
listen when He says:
    “This man was once gripped by fever. Many people urged him to be rid of his ailment,
but, for My name’s sake and because he feared he might offend Me in some way, he
scorned these people and thrust aside those who were promising to cure him in that
fashion. He chose to die of his illness rather than betray his love for Me.”
    If Christ leads to the center of this stage those who gave Him to drink, who clothed
and fed Him, He will do this all the more for those who endured fevers for His sake.
Giving food and clothing is not the same thing as submitting to a long continuing disease.
To submit to the disease is a much greater thing. And the greater the suffering, the more
glorious will be the reward.
    In sickness and in health, let us rehearse for this day and talk about it one to the other.
If we find ourselves in the grip of a fever we cannot endure, let us say to ourselves:
“What about this? If someone brought a charge against me and I was dragged into court,
if I were tied to the whipping post and my sides were torn with lashes, would I not have
to put up with it at any rate, even though I would get no profit or reward?”
    Now let us ponder on this. Suppose there is set before you a reward for your patience
and endurance; suppose the reward is large enough to encourage your fallen spirit. “But
my fever is severe,” you say, “and hard to bear.” Then compare your fever to the fire of
gehenna. You will surely escape that fire if you show great endurance in putting up with
your fever.
    Remember how many sufferings the apostles endured. Remember that the just were
constantly afflicted. Remember that blessed Timothy had no rest from his illness, but
lived with his disease from one end of his life to the other. Paul made this clear when he
said: “Use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.” That just
and holy man took in hand the superintendence of the world, brought the dead back to
life, drove out demons, and cured ten thousand ailments in others. If he experienced such
terrible sufferings, what defense will you have for groaning and grieving over ailments
which will last only for a time?
    Did you not listen to the Scripture? It says: “Whom the Lord loves He chastizes; and
He scourges every son whom He receives.” How many times and how many men have
yearned to receive the crown of martyrdom? In this you have a perfect martyr’s crown. A
martyr is made not only when someone is ordered to offer sacrifice but chooses to die
rather than offer the sacrifice. If a man shuns any practice, and to shun it can only bring
on death, he is certainly a martyr.

                                            VIII
    So that you may know that this is true, remember how John the Baptist died, from
what motive, and why. Remember, too, how Abel died. Neither John nor Abel saw an
altar with its fire, nor a statue standing before them. They heard no voice commanding
them to offer sacrifice. John only reproached Herod and had his head cut off. Abel
merely honored God with a more excellent sacrifice than his brother did, and Cain slew
him. They were not deprived of martyr’s crowns, were they? Who would dare to say
that? The very way they died is enough to make everyone agree that they belong in the
front ranks of the martyrs.
    If you are looking for some divine proclamation about these two men, listen to what
Paul said. He made it clear that his words are the words of the Holy Spirit when he said:
“I think that I also have the Spirit of God.” What then, did Paul say? He began with Abel
and told how Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, and through his
faith, though he is dead, he yet speaks.
    Then Paul continued his account down through the prophets and came to John. After
he said: “They were put to death by the sword, and others were tortured,” after he
recounted many and different modes of martyrdom, he went on to say: “Therefore, let us
also, having such a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, put away every encumbrance and
run with patience.” Do you see that he also called Abel a martyr, along with Noah,
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? For some of these died for God’s sake in the same way that
Paul spoke of when he said: “I die daily;” they died not by dying but only by their
willingness to endure death.
    If you do this, if you reject the incantations, the spells, and the charms, and if you then
die of your disease, you will be a perfect martyr. Even though others promised you relief
along with an ungodly life, you chose death with godliness. And I have spoken these
words to those boastful talkers who say that the demons do effect cures. To learn how
false this is, listen to what Christ said about the devil: “He was a murderer from the
beginning.” God says he is a murderer; do you rush to him as you would to a physician?
    Tell me this. When you stand indicted before God’s tribunal, what reason will you be
able to give for considering the Jews’ witchcraft more worthy of your belief than what
Christ has said? God said that the devil is a murderer; they say that he can cure diseases,
in contradiction to God’s word. When you accept their charms and incantations, your
actions show that you consider the Jews more worthy of your belief than God, even if
you do not say it in so many words.
    If the devil is a murderer, it is clear that the demons who serve him are murderers, too.
What Christ did has taught you this lesson. At any rate, He gave the demons leave to
enter into the herd of swine and the demons drove the whole herd down the cliff and
drowned them. He did this so that you might know that the demons would have done the
same thing to human beings and would have drowned them if God had allowed them to
do so. But He restrained the demons, stopped them, and permitted them to do no such
thing. Once they had gotten power over the swine, the demons made quite clear what
they would have done to us. If they did not spare the swine, it is all the more sure they
would not have kept their hands off us. Therefore, beloved, do not be swept off by the
deceits of the demons but stand firm in your fear of God.
    But how will you go into the synagogue? If you make the sign of the cross on your
forehead, the evil power that dwells in the synagogue immediately takes to flight. If you
fail to sign your forehead, you have immediately thrown away your weapon at the doors.
Then the devil will lay hold of you, naked and unarmed as you are, and he will
overwhelm you with ten thousand terrible wounds.
    What need is there for me to say this? The way you act when you get to the synagogue
makes it clear that you consider it a very serious sin to go to that wicked place. You are
anxious that no one notice your arrival there; you urge your household, friends, and
neighbors not to report you to the priests. If someone does report you, you fly into a rage.
Would it not be the height of folly to try to hide from men your bold and shameless sin
when God, Who is present everywhere, sees it?
   Are you not afraid of God? Then, at least, stand in some awe and fear of the Jews.
How will you look them in the eye? How will you speak to them? You profess you are a
Christian, but you rush off to their synagogues and beg them to help you. Do you not
realize how they laugh at you, scoff at you, jeer at you, dishonor you, and reproach you?
Even if they do not do it openly; do you not understand that they are doing this deep
down in their hearts?

                                            IX
    Tell me, then. Will you put up with their jibes? Will you tolerate them? Suppose you
had to suffer incurable ills; suppose you had to die ten thousand deaths. Would it not be
much better to endure all that rather than have those abominable people laugh and scoff
at you, rather than live with a bad conscience?
    My purpose in speaking is not to have you hear this for yourselves; I want you also to
work to cure those who have this sickness. They are feeble in their faith, and for this I
blame them. I also blame you for your unwillingness to set the sick ones straight. It is not
in question that, when you come here to church, you listen to what is said; you leave
yourself open to condemnation when you fail to follow through with action the words
you hear.
    Why are you a Christian? Is it not that you may imitate Christ and obey His Laws?
What did Christ do? He did not sit in Jerusalem and call the sick to come to Him. He
went around to cities and towns and cured sickness of both body and soul. He could have
stayed sitting in the same place and still have drawn all men to Himself. But He did not
do this. Why? So that He might give us the example of going around in search of those
who are perishing.
    He gave us another glimpse of this example in the parable of the shepherd. The
shepherd did not sit down with the ninety nine sheep and wait for the lost one to come to
him. He went out himself and found it. And after he found the lost sheep, he lifted it to
his shoulders and brought it back. Do you not see that a physician does this same thing?
He does not force patients who are confined to bed to be brought to his home. The
physician himself hurries to the homes of the sick.
    You must do this, too, beloved. You know that the present life is short; if we do not
earn our profits here, we will have no salvation hereafter. Gaining a single soul can often
erase the burden of countless sins and be the price which buys us life on that day. Ponder
on this question. Why were we sent prophets, apostles, just men, and often even angels?
Why did the only-begotten Son of God come among us Himself? Was it not to save men?
Was it not to bring back those who had strayed?
    You must do this with all the strength you have. You must devote all your zeal and
concern to bringing back those who have strayed. At every religious service let me keep
exhorting you to do this; whether you pay attention or not, I will not stop saying it.
Whether you listen or not, it is God’s law that I fulfill this ministry. If you listen to me
and do what I say, I will keep on doing this and feel great joy. If you disregard it and
become indifferent to what I say, I will keep on saying it but I will feel great fear instead
of joy.
    If you disobey, it will involve no risk for me hereafter. I have fulfilled my part. Even
if there will be no danger for me because I have carried out my full fair share, I will feel
sorrow for you when you are accused on that day. Even listening to me will be fraught
with danger, when you fail to follow up my words with your deeds.
    Hear, at any rate, how Christ both reproved the teachers who buried the meaning of
His message but how He also terrified those whom they taught. For after He said: “You
should have deposited My money with the bankers,” He went on to add: “And on My
return I should have demanded it back with interest.”
    What Christ showed by the parable was this. After hearing a sermon (for this is
depositing the money), those who have received the instruction must make it produce
interest. The interest from the teaching is nothing other than proving through deeds what
you have been taught through words. Since I have deposited my money in your ears, you
must now pay your teacher back the interest, that is, you must save your brothers. So, if
you should just keep holding on to what I said and produce no interest by action on your
own part, I am afraid that you will pay the same penalty as the servant who buried his
talent in the ground. And for this he was bound hand and foot and cast into the darkness
outside, because the words he heard brought no profit to others.
    So that we may not have this happen to us, let us imitate the servant who received five
talents and the one who received two. Whatever you will be asked to spend to save your
neighbor, be it words, money, bodily pain, or anything else whatsoever, we must not
shrink back or hesitate. Then each of us, in every way, will multiply proportionately the
talent given him by God. Then each of us will be able to hear those happy words: “Well
done, good and faithful servant; because you have been faithful over a few things, I will
set you over many; enter into the joy of your Master.” May we all gain this by the grace
and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ through Whom and with Whom be glory
and power to the Father together with the Holy Spirit, world without end.

Amen.

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: These are the eight homilies "Against the Jews" preached by our Father among the Saints, John Chrysostom. This collection also contains the "lost section" of Homily II, part 2. It was recovered at Leimonos Monastery on Lesvos, Greece, and published in 2001.